Spaghetti with The Best ‘No Cook’ Tomato Sauce



If you are not in the mood to cook when it’s so hot outside – don’t.  Try this pasta with an easy but delicious ‘no cook’ sauce made from sun ripened tomatoes, fresh basil and oregano, garlic and olive oil.  It sounds simple and it is, but it is divine.  Let the flavors ruminate on the countertop for about an hour and stir into cooked pasta and you’ve got a winner!  I posted this recipe last summer but decided it’s worth reposting as it is a favorite of mine and a definite go-to, especially when it’s hot or I have lots of tomatoes to use up.  I just got back from a wonderful weekend in Charleston, South Carolina and my return trip took an extra day due to inclement weather on the East Coast (although it was 102 in Charleston so it was hard to imagine it storming somewhere else), so I’m beginning my week behind schedule.  That is why this week there is no Meatless Monday or Wheatless Wednesday, just a yummy old favorite, but I don’t think you will be disappointed.  I promise a write up of my Charleston trip and some classic southern food very soon!


Regardless, I came home from my trip just in time for the NBA Playoff Finals and knew a group was soon to arrive to watch the game.  I had no time to go shopping but luckily my garden is doing well this year, so far.  I went out to my garden and gathered  sun ripened tomatoes. I love them when they are so aromatic and still warm from the sun.  You don’t have to have a garden to enjoy wonderful fruits and veggies though.  Right now tomatoes are in abundance at supermarkets and farmer’s markets.  If you’re not sure they are ripe enough, just let them sit on your counter or in your windowsill for a day or two.  Just don’t store them in the refrigerator, as they won’t ripen and their skins will get tough.


Then I stopped by my vertical herb garden which I conveniently installed right next to my kitchen door.  Why I haven’t done this until now, I will not understand.  I absolutely love my herb garden!  It used to be that I would skip the fresh herbs because I was too lazy to walk all the way up to my vegetable garden to clip them.  Now I have no excuse and my food is graced with even more lovely fresh herbs than before.  There are many vertical gardens out there but mine is the Gronomic Cedar Vertical Self Watering Planter from Williams Sonoma. Check it out: Gronomic Vertical Planter


I chopped the tomatoes and herbs, added some minced garlic, a pinch of salt and a dollop of olive oil and let it sit on the counter while everyone was beginning to arrive.


I lucked into an unopened container of fresh mozzarella, so cut it into a small dice and stirred it into the tomato mixture. However, this step is competely optional.  The sauce is quite good without adding any cheese.   It was already beginning to transform itself into a wonderful sauce.  Mmmm!


If you have leftover pasta, you don’t even have to cook that.  Just allow it return to room temperature.  When you’re ready to serve, pour tomato sauce over hot, warm or cold pasta and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parmesan if you wish.  Enjoy!


For the complete recipe, click HERE or Search Goodmotherdiet for Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil


Meatless Monday – Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil


Tomato Pasta1

What could be easier than tossing warm pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil?  This is a delicious NO COOK sauce that I have been making for ten years or so.  It is really delicious!   I no longer have the original recipe for this ‘sauce’ and usually only think about making it later in the summer when I have too many tomatoes on my windowsill on the verge of getting overripe. This recipe  is a great use for tomatoes that are a bit past their prime and starting to get a mealy texture. Of course, the better quality tomatoes, the more delicious the sauce but you can slip in an overripe tomato or two and it will work out just fine.  You can also add a few cherry tomatoes if you wish. I just use what I have on hand, but the more colorful the variety of tomatoes, the better.  Just dice the tomatoes, add a clove of minced garlic, sliced or chopped basil and oregano, drizzle with olive oil and let sit on the counter at room temperature for one to three hours.  All the flavors combine and transform raw tomatoes into a deliciously fresh sauce.  Sometimes I add fresh mozzarella for a Caprese type pasta or sprinkle with grated or shaved parmesan but it is just as good on its own.

Tomato Pasta12

There is some debate whether tomatoes are more nutritious raw or cooked.  Usually cooking vegetables reduces their nutritional value as vitamins are lost during the cooking process, however, it looks like tomatoes may be different.  Cooking tomatoes reduces the amount of vitamin C but may increase the amount of lycopene (a phytochemical with antioxidant properties) that can be absorbed by our bodies.  So I think its a toss up.  You can lightly sauté this sauce if you prefer but I love the simplicity of leaving it raw as nature intended.

TIP:  Garlic lovers beware!  For those of us who pile on the garlic, be forewarned.  Since this sauce is not cooked, the garlic does not mellow and sweeten the same way it does when cooked, so don’t use the same amount you would in a cooked sauce.

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Tomato Pasta1

4 – 6 ripe tomatoes of varying size and variety

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced or chopped

1 Tbsn fresh oregano, chopped (or thyme)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)

1 cup fresh mozzarella (optional)

Tomato Pasta11

  •  Dice tomatoes and place in a medium sized bowl

Tomato Pasta9

  •  Add garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper to tomatoes.

Tomato Pasta8

  •  Stir gently to combine and let sit at room temperature for one to three hours (30 minutes if you can’t wait).

Tomato Pasta6

  •  Slice or dice fresh mozzarella, if using.

Tomato Pasta4

  •  Add mozzarella to the sauce about 15 minutes or so before serving. (You don’t want it sitting out too long). Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Tomato Pasta3

  •  Cook spaghetti according to instructions, drain and place in a serving bowl.

Tomato Pasta2

  •  Pour tomato sauce over the top and gently combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.