Fleur de Lis

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Raw Summer Tomato Sauce for Pasta

A tomato sauce for pasta that isn't cooked for hours? No simmering on the stove? Lovely chunks of tomato that you can distinguish and aren't cooked down to nothing? Yes indeed. Make sure you use a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and types of tomatoes for the best results. If at all possible, use at least some heirloom varieties.  hey will add an enormous depth of flavor to this dish.

2 pounds ripe summer tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties in a mix of colors and shapes
3 to 4 plump cloves, garlic, peeled
1/2 t. salt
6 large basil leaves
1/4 t. hot red pepper flakes, or more or less to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup or more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or cubed fresh mozzarella cheese

Rinse the tomatoes, drain and wipe dry.  Cut out the core and other other tough parts.  Working over a big mixing bowl to catch all the juices, cut the tomatoes, cherry tomatoes in half; regular tomatoes into 1 inch chunks and drop them into the bowl.

Smash the garlic cloves with a chef's knife, and chop into a fine paste (easier if you add some of the salt as you chop; mash the garlic bites and salt with the flat side of the knife, too). Scatter the garlic paste and the rest of the salt (1/2 t. in all) over the tomatoes and stir gently. Pile up the basil leaves and cut into thin strips; you should get bout 3 T.  

Scatter these over the tomatoes, then sprinkle in the hot red pepper flakes. Pour in the oil, stir, and fold, to coat the tomatoes and distribute the seasonings.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it marinate at room temperature for 1 - 2 hours.

Toss the marinated sauce with freshly cooked and drained pasta. Serve as is or toss in 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. For extra richness, add 1 cup or more cubed fresh mozzarella.

From Lidia's Favorite Recipes

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