This no-cook sauce is the ideal dish for hot summer evenings. With a bit of crusty bread and a simple green salad, you’ll have a delicious dinner on the table – no sweat!

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

recipe by Claire Saffitz for Bon Appetit

boxes of mixed heirloom tomatoesIngredients:

  • 1½ pounds tomatoes, any shape (larger than cherry),
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup), divided
  • Salt
  • 12 ounces strand pasta, such as bucatini, spaghetti, or linguini
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn


  1. Cut 1½ lb. tomatoes in half, not through the core, but across the midline. Hold halves in your palms and gently squeeze over a bowl to squeeze out seeds and surrounding juice/jelly. Chop seeded tomatoes so you have some pieces that are very small and some pieces that are a bit larger, but everything should be smaller than an acorn.
  2. Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl and mash mixture several times with the back of a large spoon or potato masher to release more juices (you can also just use your hands).
  3. Finely grate 1 garlic clove into bowl with tomatoes with a microplane or fine grater. Add 2 Tbsp. butter, 4 tsp. vinegar, ½ tsp. red pepper, ¼ cup oil, and half of Parmesan. Season with several pinches of salt, and toss with a large spoon to combine.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic and let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 5 hours. This lets the flavors marry and tomato juices exude for a saucy pasta.
  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (4–6 qt.) and add a small fistful of salt. Cook 12 oz. pasta until al dente.
  6. As soon as pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer noodles to bowl with tomatoes and TOSS TOSS TOSS. You want the hot pasta to melt the cheese and butter, which will thicken the sauce. Taste pasta and season with more salt, if needed. Toss in 1 cup basil.
  7. Using tongs, portion pasta into shallow bowls, then spoon remaining tomatoes and juices over. Top with remaining 2 oz. Parmesan, then drizzle with oil.

I love this kind of recipe! I can imagine adding all kinds of leftover vegetables to it. Any corn, zucchini, eggplant, onion, or peppers you have left from other meals can be beautifully tossed into this sauce. They’re already cooked, so it’s no problem at all and they’ll add flavor and variety.