When I first tried no-cook pasta sauce made with juicy vine-ripened tomatoes, I was thrilled to discover how flavorful the raw tomato sauce was over pasta. In this type of sauce, the tomatoes are cut up, tossed with herbs and olive oil, and then they marinate on the counter for a few hours. This version gives the sauce a Greek twist, with some Feta cheese added when you cook the pasta. You should only make this type of sauce when you have fresh vine-ripened tomatoes from your garden or farmers market, but if you have a surplus of tomatoes right now, this is a delicious way to use them.
Chop one pound of fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes. (This is a four-cup measuring cup, so it's just about 2 cups of chopped tomatoes.)
Thinly slice 1/2 cup green onions.
Chop 1/4 cup parsley (I used flat-leaf Italian parsley.)
Chop or slice 1/4 cup fresh basil. (I sliced the basil in chiffonade slices.)
Finely chop 2 tsp. fresh oregano. (Oregano is a strong flavor, so I wouldn't increase this amount unless you really like it.)
Toss together the chopped tomatoes, chopped herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice, and let the sauce marinate at room temperature for at least one hour and up to 4 hours.
When you start the pasta water boiling, crumble about 3 oz. of Feta cheese and add to the pasta sauce.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until it's barely al dente (about 8-9 minutes) and drain well. (I used Dreamfields penne.)
Toss the drained pasta with the sauce and serve immediately.
Penne Pasta with Tomato, Herb, and Feta No-Cook Pasta Sauce
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2002.)
1 lb. fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups chopped tomatoes)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped or thinly-sliced basil
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
(You could vary the fresh herbs, depending on what you have. The original recipe used dill, which I tried, but I preferred it with basil. Mint also might be good.)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use a good quality olive oil for this recipe)
2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
3 oz. crumbled Feta Cheese (or more)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (I used a lot of pepper, but not much salt)
7-8 oz. penne pasta (I used 1/2 box Dreamfields penne.)
generous amount salt, for pasta water
Chop tomatoes and put into plastic or glass bowl that's large enough to hold all the sauce and pasta. Slice green onions, chop parsley, slice or chop basil, and chop oregano and add to tomatoes. Add olive oil and lemon juice and stir a few times to combine. Let sauce marinate on the counter for 1-4 hours.
When you're ready to serve the pasta, fill a medium-sized pot half full with water, add a generous amount of salt, and bring to a boil. While you're waiting for the water to boil, crumble 3 oz. Feta cheese and stir into pasta sauce.
When water boils, add pasta, stir, reduce heat to a low boil and cook until pasta is barely al dente. (This was 9 minutes for the Dreamfields pasta I used, but check the package for cooking times.)
Drain pasta in a colander placed in the sink, let cool for 1-2 minutes, and then stir into sauce. Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper and serve immediately.
South Beach Suggestions:
Using Dreamfields or whole wheat pasta would make this dish suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. I'd eat a smaller portion of this with a protein for phase 2, and have pasta as the main course for phase 3. (Edit June 2011 - I have recently learned that if Dreamfields pasta is cooked for a long time or reheated it increases the glycemic index, so this recipe is probably only for phase 3 if reheated.)
More Ideas for No-Cook Pasta Sauce:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
No-Cook Pasta Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Thyme from Kalyn's Kitchen
Raw Tomato Sauce from Words to Eat By
No-Cook Tomato Sauce from Andrea Meyers
Raw Tomato Sauce from Elana's Pantry
Linguini with Raw Tomato Sauce from Eat the Right Stuff
Pasta Provencal with Basil, Sweet Pepper, Tomatoes, and Olives from TasteFood
Caprese Pasta from Iron Stef
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)