In hot weather, there is nothing more refreshing than pasta with a fresh tomato sauce. “Why have a sauce simmering on a hot stove on a steamy summer day,” you might ask. For an Italian, though, what’s lunch without pasta? So here is the perfect summer pasta!
Pasta al Pomodoro Fresco
- Ripe tomatoes (small cherry tomatoes or large tomatoes),
diced into small pieces
- Fresh basil (a few leaves) or parsley and/or mint
or Sicilian mountain oregano
- 2 or 3 Garlic cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil (q.b. – “quanto basta” or “as much as you need”)
- Salt, q.b.
- Parmesan or pecorino cheese, q.b.
- Pasta - rigatoni or penne (1 lb. for every 5 persons)
- Optional: diced mozzarella cheese or diced pecorino
Finely chop tomatoes with garlic (note: omit the garlic if you will add diced cheese to the pasta sauce). Finely dice basil or mint and/or parsley – I always use the mezzaluna (“half-moon,” or cradle knife which is a family treasure of mine). Crush the tomatoes, basil, garlic-mixture. I use the bottom of a glass as I was taught years ago! If you’re making the sauce with cheese, crush the tomatoes with the herbs you are using (no garlic) and add cheese cut into small pieces. Boil salted water and, when at a rolling boil, drop in pasta, draining when al dente (“to the tooth”). Add fresh tomato sauce to pasta and add a bit of olive oil as needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan or pecorino cheese.