angel hair pasta with raw tomato sauce

The internet might be loaded with a ga-jillion recipes, but finding the great ones can still be a little bit of a needle in a haystack. My favorite way to find new recipes is to ask a random person what their cult favorites are. Bonus points if they claim to hate cooking, because these are the people who are only going to be excited for dishes that work with airtight reliability that are unquestionably worth your time. I have found so many gems this way; Marion Burros’s Purple Plum Torte (which, if you have not made yet, shut this browser tab and get to it, please), Cook Country’s Chicken and Dumplings, Jeremiah Tower’s Raspberry Brown Sugar Gratin, this crazy simple beef braise and Ina Garten’s Lemon Cake. (If you ask me about mine, I might also up this curious tuna salad from the New York Times Magazine, this zucchini and almond saute). In more recent memory, it’s from asking around that I learned a lot people have a very deep fondness for a raw tomato sauce for a 2006 issue of the late Gourmet Magazine.

what you'll need
coring tomatoes, if you wish

I, however, had my doubts. I am very particular about pasta; I want not too much sauce and I want it to be slurped up by very thirsty al dente pasta with a splash of reserved cooking water in the last minute before you eat it, so that they become as one. I couldn’t imagine raw tomato sauce being anything but slippery, wet and probably nothing you’d see in Italy, right?

grating a few tomatoes
grating a few tomatoes

But then two things happened. First, I realized that having a new baby rather severely limits that time you might spend blanching, peeling and milling fresh tomatoes for your yearly batch of your favorite sauce, no matter how good the tomatoes have been this summer. And then, two weeks ago, one of my prime authorities on All Things Italian, or at least Roman and sometimes Sicilian, Rachel Roddy, whom I am impatiently tapping my foot for the US release of her book, shared a photo of a raw tomato sauce on pasta that was clearly eaten somewhere in Italy. The suggested topping of grated ricotta salata was an a-ha moment for me, and exactly what I realized the recipe — which suggests serving the sauce with Parmesan — might be missing. The sharp and almost pickled creaminess of ricotta salata seemed the perfect contrast to this bowl of crudo.

making the raw sauce
making the pasta
raw tomato sauce + heap of noodles

And so on Sunday, over the course of 6-plus stopped-and-started-and-stopped-again hours because that’s about how long it takes me to do the quickest of anything these days, we made it happen and whether or not you’re juggling a newborn, a bigger kid, a glut of tomatoes, or maybe that summer-specific cooking ennui when you want to eat all of the delicious produce but not actually have to stand at a stove for more than 5 minutes to do so, we quickly declared this the ultimate low-effort dinner. It is tomatoes in nearly their purest form, naturally sweet and faintly tangy, then garlic-kissed and tangled with fresh basil and the wispiest strands into everything I want in a late-August meal. Oh, and the leftovers aren’t too bad either which means tonight’s dinner is already sorted too. That’s what I call a cooking victory lap.

angel hair with raw tomato sauce

One year ago: Cold Noodles with Miso, Lime and Ginger, Apricot Pistachio Squares and Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
Two years ago: Strawberry Lime and Black Pepper Popsicles, Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts and Magnificent Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes
Three years ago: My Favorite Brownies and Mediterranean Baked Feta with Tomatoes
Four years ago: Hazelnut Plum Crumb Tart and Zucchini Fritters
Five years ago: Zucchini and Almond Pasta Salad, Raspberry Limeade Slushies and Sweet Corn Pancakes
Six years ago: Plum Kuchen, Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad and Lighter, Airy Poundcake
Seven years ago: Blueberry Crumb Bars and Napa Cabbage Salad with the Best Buttermilk Dressing
Eight years ago: Zucchini Bread and Quick Zucchini Saute

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Oven-Braised Beef with Tomatoes and Garlic
1.5 Years Ago: Fennel and Blood Orange Salad and Chocolate Hazelnut Linzers
2.5 Years Ago: Fried Egg Sandwich with Bacon and Blue Cheese
3.5 Years Ago: Blood Orange Margaritas

Angel Hair Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce
Adapted a little from Gourmet

In the original recipe, many commenters found that they wanted more garlic; I had very new garlic from the market and found one clove to be plenty booming with flavor, but definitely adjust to your taste. Many found that they liked the sauce more the longer it marinated. I’d planned to let it just sit the 10 suggested minutes, but then real life happened and it sat an hour. It was wonderful. I realized I had no lemon (of course) after returning from the store and used red wine vinegar instead. It works just fine. Lastly, the original recipe calls for coring tomatoes and I realized that I wasn’t sure whether this mean to just remove the stem and any tough parts it attaches to inside the tomato or to do as this video shows. I did a mix of both, coring fully, then squeezing the seeds and extra juices from the core before chopping them too. I’d recommend this so the sauce isn’t excessively watery, and especially if you, like me, find tomato seeds a little bitter and bothersome in sauces.

3 pounds fresh, best-quality tomatoes (results are uneven with less fresh ones)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste (I used 2 teaspoons total Diamond kosher salt)
1 teaspoon sugar (optional, I found this unnecessary)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound dried capellini or angel-hair spaghetti
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
To serve: grated ricotta salata (my choice) or Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of your favorite olive oil

Halve the first pound of tomatoes crosswise, then rub the cut sides against the large holes of a box grater set in a large bowl, discarding the skin. Core (see note up top) and chop the last two pounds of tomatoes and add to the grated tomato bowl. Add garlic, lemon juice or vinegar, salt, sugar (if using) and pepper and let marinate at room temperature until ready to use, at least 10 minutes but also up to 2 hours if you’re planning ahead. After it has steeped for a while, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Cook pasta in salted boiling water as package time recommends. Drain then toss with fresh sauce and basil. Serve lukewarm (as it is now) or at room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated cheese on top.

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147 comments on angel hair pasta with raw tomato sauce

  1. You are so right! The Internet is loaded with recipes ~ many of which are total bombs I confess! It’s tough for an um, up and coming cook like myself to sift the wheat from the chaff. This looks delicious. I have so many fresh tomatoes from my garden that I hardly know what to do with them. Thanks for the inspiration =)

  2. Liz

    Ever since I read Nora Ephron’s tribute to pasta alla cecca in “Heartburn,” I’ve been a little in love with raw tomato sauces, if it’s this time of year. Lovely way to close out the summer and a nice ripe tomato crop!

  3. Amanda

    This looks incredible! Tomatoes right now are unreal. I eat them like candy.

    You’re so right about the dearth of awful recipes on the Internet. So many duds. I can’t even be bothered. That’s why I come here, lol.

  4. Caz

    I agree the internet is rife with poor recipes, but I have to admit that between you and 101 Cookbooks, I can generally trust a recipe to be good, and go back to your sites more often than not. (I also think this is because my cooking style/philosophy mimics yours/Heidi’s as “put an egg on it” is my motto often).

    So, because of that, your pasta with tomato-almond-pesto (which I would still classify as a raw tomato sauce) is one of my go-to summer staples, and as I just bought $16 worth of heirlooms from the farmer’s market I may be convinced to try this recipe too.

  5. Julie

    I made the frozen hot chocolate the other morning before we left to take my daughter up to college. (Oldest child, never thought I’d see the day, harrowing.) I bought Italian prune plums at a farmers market there and made 3 Marian Burros cakes yesterday when I got home. One to eat, one to freeze for Rosh Hashanah and one to freeze for when she comes home to visit. Thanks for your treasure trove of recipes.

  6. Molly

    I kind of made this by accident the other day. I had made a big batch of Bruschetta for a dinner party and had a bunch of the tomato mixture leftover. The next day I mixed it with some fresh pasta and it was a delicious, super quick lunch. Since the “sauce” had been marinated overnight in the fridge it was incredibly flavorful.

  7. Kyv

    I’m curious, why wouldn’t you include the basil in the sauce when you let it marinate? Would it make it bitter?
    I’m looking forward to trying this soon!!

  8. I admit that I’ve been skeptical of raw tomato sauce in the past too. The keys seem to be: 1) high-quality, ripe tomatoes, and 2) a reliable recipe like this one. I can’t wait to give raw tomato sauce another go before the summer comes to a close!

  9. Wow this is right up my alley!! I will have to recreate this for my blog. You did a great job and I love that its raw. It seems as though raw foods are so much better for the digestion process. Props!

  10. Baby feet and toes! I am convinced the most delicious thing I’ve cooked up this summer have been Bea’s feet. I can’t get enough of them.

    I’d say I receive about 10 new recipes a day via email. The most creative ones are from Tasting Table, and there’s the best chance I’ll use them. Bon Appetit and Real Simple recipes get tucked away in a folder but are first read for inspiration.

    This recipe actually reminds me of a reader recipe winner from, gosh, maybe 7 years ago from Cook’s Country. It’s a fresh tomato pesto, whirled up with blanched almonds, then tossed with warm pasta. Ah, August and your tomatoes. Nothing better in the world. (Quickly followed the month’s figs and Italian prune plums.)

  11. john burke

    Another enthusiastic vote for Marian Burros’ Plum Cake. A recent NY Times carried a recipe from Melissa Clark for Fruit Buckle which is almost the same thing, though Clark suggests using berries. I made Clark’s version yesterday with nectarines and it’s good–not as chewy as Burros’ plum cake. I like chewy, another person here prefers less-chewy–it’s all delicious.

  12. MelanieQ

    Been making this since I was a kid with summer tomatoes. Used to make in the morning and eat after work. Delicious! I have to say the typos in your post made me smile. Reminds me of when I had a little one too. Such a harried, precious time.

  13. Lauren

    Always love the ease of raw tomato sauces, and the flavor is so *right there* that it is perfect this time of year. I also love that there seems to be a dimple thief in your midst. I can’t believe so much dimpled cuteness exists in one family! Jacob will never be able to deny that Anna’s his sister, that’s for sure!

  14. I’m always looking for something fresh and new…and I’ve never made anything bad from SK….I’m going to be daring and try it. And spaghetti is my husband’s favorite meal. Thanks!

  15. Susan

    About the only thing I do differently than is done in this method is to sizzle the garlic for a quick minute in the olive oil called for in the recipe to take the edge off. Maybe new garlic doesn’t need it, but as bulbs sit for days (maybe two weeks!), they get bitter and will bite when used raw. …at least that’s what I have discovered.

  16. mola

    Deb, I can’t believe you linked to the tuna salad. That’s what I had for lunch today! Must be on the same vibe. Which explains why I am also looking forward to this tomato sauce. A friend of mine is teaching me how to can on Friday (because: tomatoes), but I will be sure to reserve some for this raw sauce.

  17. Sarah

    We have been making a fun dish for a while with some chopped extra fresh tomatoes, little bit of chopped garlic, plenty of fresh basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and some tears of mozzarella in the bottom of a bowl. Cook and drain tortellini and dump over the whole thing and then serve at room temperature. It’s been a favorite for a while in the summer, so I’ll have to try this variation as well!

  18. Jo

    Try balsamic with this recipe instead of red wine vinegar and a little more garlic, say 2 cloves. More than that and the raw garlic is too harsh. To make a richer dish with meat in it, I grill about 5 Italian sausages on the BBQ, then when they are done I slice them into rounds and add them to the pasta and sauce. Makes a somewhat more substantial dish. It is yummy either way!

  19. Looks so scrumptious. I often enjoy angel hair pasta with raw tomatoes., but I sure like this little dandy dish. I will take down the ingredients and try it thanks for sharing. Linda

  20. Krista

    I’ve been making the spaghetti and raw tomato sauce from Canal House Cooks Everyday for a couple summers now and really enjoy it. It calls for added strained tomatoes. I’m going to try this next– I like the sound of the chopped tomatoes and vinegar.

  21. Alex

    MADE. Eaten. Delicious!

    One thing: I had 3 romas and 3 fat, juicy heirlooms (Cherokee Purple and Pineapple) from my garden on hand, so that’s what I used. After grating and chopping according to instructions, the sauce was way too soupy for my taste (or anyone’s, I imagine — more like gazpacho than anything that would cling to pasta).

    If this happens to you, try what I did: Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, dump the solids into a new bowl, and thin to desired consistency. Use the leftover garlicky/salty/tart/sweet tomato water as a beverage/in a cocktail or, as I did, add it to your (small) pot of pasta water for extra flavor!

  22. Natalie

    Another option with older garlic is to soak it in the lemon juice or vinegar. The acid will convert the harsher allicin to milder tasting flavors.

  23. Gorgeous! Easy summer dinners like this are the best. My fresh tomato pasta go to for the last few years has been a Bill Granger recipe – looks very similar but the tomatoes are peeled and chopped rather than grated. We love to serve it with grilled zucchini and eggplant on the barbecue for a bit of extra smoky flavour!

  24. I made this tonight. It was superb. I probably quadrupled the garlic, using giant, juicy cloves from the FIL’s garden. (What can I say, we’re a garlic-loving family. And no vampires will dare come near us tonight). I included the sugar, 2 tsp of coarse sea salt and the red wine vinegar. As Alex says, it was pretty soupy, but I found a slotted spoon did the trick for me. I have some leftovers and I don’t mind the pasta marinating in the juice a little bit longer. After I drained that pasta, I put it and the sauce back in the pot for a few minutes. Just long enough to warm the sauce beyond lukewarm, but not long enough to break down the tomatoes. I’ll definitely be making this again. We just need a few more tomatoes to ripen!

  25. karen

    this question feels so silly that i’m almost ashamed to be asking it: Will this amazing sauce be the same (give or take) heated?

  26. Linda Brock

    I “cooked” this for dinner tonight and my husband – a foodie if there ever was one – just announced “this may be the best pasta I’ve ever eaten.” Love your blog. Thanks! (I added a bit of cayenne because that’s how we roll.)

  27. Emil

    Although the raspberry brown sugar gratin is perfect, if you’re ever craving pie crust in addition to raspberries you should try the brown butter raspberry tart from Bon Appetit circa 2009. The crust is dead easy (but also amazing) and the recipe works splendidly with pears and peaches too. It has never failed me and never takes more than 15m to put together.

    The only inaccuracy in the recipe is the serving size. It says 8-10 but my partner and I have finished off half a tart for dessert or breakfast on many occasions.

  28. Janae

    Baby Anna is ridiculously adorable, I mean come on with that dimple! This is a sauce I’ve never heard of, but would now like to try, thanks!

  29. Lindsay

    My mom’s “non-recipe recipe” for a similar dish: 5 or 6 large farm stand tomatoes: raw, peeled, seeded, chopped (as opposed to grated). An excessive amount of chopped garlic, however much you dare. (I probably put in 4 cloves, minimum.) as much basil as you can find (better part of a bunch). 3/4 cup of the best extra virgin olive oil you have. Salt and pepper to taste. Only hard and fast rule is ONLY MAKE WITH AUGUST TOMATOES. Good for about 1 lb of angel hair.

    Having made it this way for years I’m surprised this recipe here includes no EVOO. It just rounds out the sauce on the tongue. That said, I wholly appreciate this ode to sugust’s tomato crop.

  30. A lot of people around me don’t understand my love for angel hair pasta. Or fresh tomato sauce. Or how I like to put them together in my mouth. Most here prefer spaghetti with bolognese sauce but I can never always be bothered to babysit a pot of sauce. I WOULD have more fresh tomato sauce if the tomatoes here are half as red and juicy as yours.

  31. Sarah

    This is my go to raw tomato sauce – Tomato and Almond Pesto

    100g raw almonds(I don’t blanch them but you might), 1 teasp salt, 4 garlic cloves, 1 cup of basil leaves, 5 sprigs parsley, 1/2tsp chilli flakes, 6 small tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil.

    Put the whole lot in the food processor adjusting olive oil to get a pourable sauce. Stir through cooked pasta and top with cheese of choice.

    The ingredients are all adjustable. This is done before the pasta and so good on a hot night. The almonds make it quite a balanced meal.

  32. In Greece we add grated raw tomatoes with garlic to many dishes, especially vegetables, so it really doesn’t surprise me that it would work on pasta too. It looks fantastic, I can’t wait to give it a try.

  33. ELCookie

    Sitting in my pile of ever growing “recipes to try” is a raw tomato sauce recipe. Why is it recipe and book piles never get any smaller? Now I will have to try this. Do you think this can be frozen like cooked tomato sauce? Btw… been making your zucchini bread recipe for weeks now (substituting coconut oil) and giving them away. Everyone has a smile when they see me. Thanks!

  34. YUM! Last summer, out of sheer laziness, I developed a recipe for a no-cook sun gold tomato sauce for pasta that is bonkers delicious. I just shared a video recipe for it on my blog last week! Something about the sharpness of super ripe raw summer tomatoes is just magical. I use salty pecorino in mine, but love the ricotta salata switcheroo!! I’m traveling to Italy for the first time in a weeks (gahh!!), and I will be sure to report back on all the cooked and uncooked tomato pasta discoveries. :)

  35. thatchern

    I’ve been making a version (use red wine vinegar as opposed to the lemon juice option, no sugar, quite a bit more olive oil) of this for years, I think a la one of the Moosewood books. It too calls for cheese as an optional ingredient – I’ve personally found that we’re quite happy without it. We also tend to use orecchiette, gemelli or another chunky, sauce-grabbing pasta type. No way to go wrong with good tomatoes + fresh basil – sigh…

  36. deb

    karen — I haven’t cooked it, but I remember reading a comment on Epicurious from someone who had warmed it a little and felt it was not improved by it. That said, this isn’t terribly different from the way you might make a cooked sauce, although I’d usually warm the garlic in olive oil with pepper flakes before adding them tomatoes, seeded and skinned, etc. This is my favorite cooked tomato sauce.

    Kyv — You can. I just didn’t want mine all wilted when I could instead keep it more intact at the end. Wilting might bring out more flavor, though.

  37. Cynthia PNW

    I have made a version of this countless times, based on an old recipe from a Northern Italian cookbook. Parboiling the tomatoes slightly, cooling them and then skinning, seeding and squeezing them prepares them to be chopped beautifully, with very little seeds (which I also find bitter). A fun and pretty way to chop the basil is to roll each leaf and then slice it across the “grain.” This makes pretty little curly strips. Love your ideas, Deb. You are my muse!

  38. What a brilliant idea to ask what someone’s favorite recipe is to find the gems. And raw tomato sauce- a treat that comes (for me) maybe two weeks out of the year. Did you use any specific type of tomatoes in this sauce, or is it a mix?

  39. After being burned by too many recipes floating around online (AHEM, PINTEREST), I basically stick to the same handful of food blogs that deliver consistent results—but somehow my GoogleDoc of recipes to try still seems to grow exponentially!

    For the record, I love Pink Parsley, Annie’s Eats, Elly Says Opa and Cook Like a Champion, in addition to Smitten Kitchen. And like Deb, I always trust Ina!

  40. Gabby

    Thank goodness you posted this! I quite literally poured over your index last week looking for a raw tomato sauce, and lo and behold, here it is! (I know exactly what to do with my CSA tomatoes tonight). WOOHOO!

  41. Wendy Shackleford

    This was AMAZING!!! I will be packaging this for Friday Night Football dinners in the stands!!!!! I wish I could add a picture!!!

  42. Linda

    I am a senior citizen who before the internet got all my recipes from magazine which takes up a lot of space. I have kept this issue of Gourmet all these years because of this recipe
    You might want to see if you can get a full copy of that issue(is that possible with all this technology) It has a lot of great vegetable recipes

  43. Gail

    It is YOUR recipes that are now my cult favorites, you know… Thanks for what looks like another winner. I have a raw tomato recipe that I made over and over again one summer, but I got tired of the bite of the raw garlic and took to mellowing it in a little warm olive oil first. Ricotta salata is a great idea!!

  44. Jamie Winkelman

    Made this tonight for dinner. Thought you might be kind of nuts to do a raw tomato sauce; a fair bit of work to get the seeds out of the tomatoes. Guess what happened? Once the tomato chunks and pasta were consumed, I slurped up the watery remains of the sauce. NOT SORRY. Thanks, Deb!

  45. Jean

    There is a similar recipe from Silver Palate and has the tomatoes, garlic, basil, but the added ingredient is a lot of torn up Brie cheese. It is so good but a little decadent!

  46. My dad, who is Italian, makes something very similar to this in the summer with his garden-fresh tomatoes (all heirloom varieties he sneakily imported from Italy himself). Instead of making a “sauce” from the tomatoes he dices them up and marinates them in raw garlic and olive oil- probably with a touch of red wine vinegar as well- while his pasta water boils. He then tosses the hot pasta with the olive oil-tomato mixture as well as small balls of fresh mozzerella cheeese, which stays both intact AND starts to melt and get stringy all over the pasta. S&P to taste and garnish with a little diced basil and parm cheese and it’s ready. It’s so simple and fresh and summery. I look forward to it every year.

  47. Pam

    Hey Deb – if you’re looking for a new great recipe, check out the cover recipe of August Food & Wine “Pappardelle with Squash and Arugula Pesto.” It’s fab. I like it with croxetti pasta and the squash in rounds with a mandolin, and blanch the squash. I also use spinach/arugula mix. And of course a nice glug of pasta water!

  48. Wow, I have never made my own tomato sauce before. What a neat technique. When I cook, I like to study a ga-zillian recipes as reference, then make my own based on what I learned =) Not always successful, but when it is, it makes you feel pretty awesome =)

  49. Mariah

    I tried this recipe last night. The sauce itself was really flavorful and fresh. My only deviations from your recipe were: I added 2 garlic cloves and a couple dashes of red pepper flakes and heated them both in olive oil. I didn’t find it overly acidic (which I was anticipating) and loved that it was no-cook/heat! Perfect for summer. The only criticism would be that I found it considerably watery. The tomato pulp sat on top of the angel hair nicely, but left a watery pool in the bowl behind it (and I actually like my tomato sauce to be on the watery end). Next time, I am going to drain some of the liquid out or cook it to reduce and concentrate the liquid.

  50. Jane Kantor

    I was shocked to open the NYTimes this morning and read in the Food Section
    the EXACT SAME recipe which you published on Monday!!

  51. Karen

    Looks yummy!! So glad to see your Girl with the Dimples!
    At first, I was afraid you were taking pics of tomatoes and
    NOT of your baby!That would be a sad day.

  52. Kathleen

    I’ve always loved this sauce and it’s many variations. A recipe for it appeared in one of the Moosewood cookbooks in the 80’s, and there are THREE! in Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman’s ‘Cucina Fresca.’ But my favorite variation (no idea where it came from) is to add slices of brie (without the rind) to the sauce. I let it sit all day, so the brie sort of melts into the tomatoes. It’s ridiculously decadent and luxurious. I know it sounds weird, but my family has loved it for twenty years or more.

  53. Do you think cooking pasta and the tomatoes in a steamer would yield a similar taste? As a college student with little time speeding up the cooking process can be a life-saver. Thanks!

    1. deb

      Foodie Lover — I’m not sure why the tomatoes would go in there for a raw sauce but if you’ve found you can do the pasta in a steamer and it saves you time, definitely go for it.

  54. deb in Georgia

    I have been making a version of this for many years. Just cooking for 1 if hubby is on a business trip? Just cut up enough tomatoes for 1. I just chop them up. I like the juice. It absorbs into the hot pasta. Add grated garlic and olive oil in a bowl large enough to hold your pasta. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter for up to 4 hours. Cook pasta and pour over tomatoes in bowl. Add cheese, basil or whatever your little heart desires.

  55. Amanda

    Just made for dinner and is was delish! Quick question: would you stick your leftovers in the fridge or leave them out overnight?

  56. Brenda

    I made this tonight with more herbs, more garlic, more cheese…. just more.

    It was wonderful. It is going on my meatless Monday rotation.


  57. trasheed

    This was quite good. Especially the next day! Great to pack for lunch. I was lazy and only grated the tomato, still got chunks of tomato. I sort of prefer the pecorino because it helps absorb all the tomato juice. Thanks!

  58. Brenda

    I made this last night and it was great. I did add two cloves of garlic, some fresh chopped oregano, fresh thyme along with the chopped basil. I tried the sauce before putting it on the pasta and it was almost too spicy. After I added the hot pasta it was perfect! I highly recommend over spicing the sauce, it was perfect.

    Buy ground beef when there is a sale ( 10 lb. tubes are great)

    Start browning some ground beef, lb. or so….drain a little, I just fold a paper towel right into edge of skillet.
    Have tomatoes rinsed, & cut into pcs. keeping skins on if you want to keep all nutri.
    Add tomatoes, any amount, to ground beef (which isn’t fully cooked).
    Add some chopped onion if desired.
    Continue cooking until beef is done & simmer for awhile.
    Cool completely.
    Place in freezer bags of any size and freeze.
    I have not bought canned tomatoes in years
    Dixie in I O W A

  60. Kerry

    This was lunch yesterday. Delicious! I was afraid it would be too soupy, but the hot pasta really did soak up most of the tomato liquid. Thanks for giving me another method of eating my body weight in summer tomatoes while they still last!

  61. Julia

    Hi Deb – Quick note that the link to “curious tuna salad” actually goes to Silky Cauliflower Soup. I’m furiously clicking links most people probably skip over as I enjoy another day off school thanks to the papal visit :)

  62. Jacqueline Strand

    This is my favorite meal to make after Havdala on Saturday night. Martha Stewart had a very similar recipe in her magazine a couple years ago.

  63. ‘bela

    Late to the table, so to speak, but I just made this for dinner tonight. WOW! Two slight changes, I spun the tomatoes in a food mill. It made for a great texture. The other change, was not by choice. I asked the spouse to pick up Ricotta salata and he picked up Ricotta. He tries.

    We’ll try again the intended proper way, but I still had to resist seconds! Great weeknight meal. Minimum ingredients, little work (thought I spent most of the prep time putting the mill together) that produces hearty fresh food.


  64. C

    This summer you must try linguine with haricots verts, raw tomatoes, lemon juice, and mint, which is in _Pasta e Verdura_ by Jack Bishop. It’s amazing.

  65. Sharon Barker

    This sauce was awesome!!!! Loved and for sure will include this in our favourite recipes, one doesn’t need to simmer a pasta sauce as this demonstrates. Fresh, uncooked with delightful tasting basic ingredients. A keeper for sure!!

    1. cljuliet

      We had this tonight for dinner. Perfect summer meal! I loved how quick the sauce came together and that it could be made ahead.

  66. Alice K.

    I made this tonight with home-grown tomatoes. It was so SOUPY! Half-way through the meal, I had an idea… Why not drain it with a large strainer? So I did that and the rest of the dish was fine. Tasted good and was a terrific way to use lots of tomatoes. One comment also said it was soupy. I wonder why…

      1. Delicious! A family hit with a grocery rotisserie chicken. I didn’t have quite enough ripe farmers market tomatoes so I added in some halved grape tomatoes but I won’t make that mistake again. Husband and college son were delighted. A perfect summer Saturday evening meal. Thank you!

  67. Kelly McIntyre

    Made and ate this tonight with CSA and backyard grown ingredients. So, so, so good! I kept laughing that it was the Italian version of pico de gallo, haha! We also had a giant sweet red Italian pepper from our CSA and added that in with it – amazing.

  68. Mary

    I had some of this frozen, and I reduced it almost to a paste in a saucepan and used it as the pizza “Ssauce” on some homemade dough. ABSOLUTELY delicious!

  69. I had a crap day at work and could think of nothing more relaxing than grating, chopping, and crushing a bunch of tomatoes. How it was going to turn out was almost secondary, but then — AHA! — it turns out it’s amazing. So fresh and unexpected and sorely needed during an L.A. heatwave.

  70. Lisa

    This is so good. I made something similar years ago but it had too much garlic so I kind of shied away from it but felt compelled to trust your judgment since I had so many great tomatoes and I was not disappointed. It’s a keeper. Especially the ricotta salata.

  71. Athina

    I made this lastnight, as I have an abundance of home-grown tomatoes. It was entirely too soupy, leaving a plate full of water, and never adhering, or becoming one with the pasta. Very disappointing, I’m not even sure straining the tomatoes would make a huge difference. My boyfriend raves about everything I cook, but he gave this a thumbs down. I wouldn’t use my beautiful tomatoes to make this dish again. Maybe it’s the types of tomatoes I used- I’m not really sure…

  72. jen

    I made this last night and it was delicious. Honestly though, it was even better today! All the flavors were super concentrated … so so good! Another SK winner!

  73. Susan

    I made this last night with fresh tomatoes from our CSA. One yellow, one red and one dark brownish and green heirloom. I also used and entire bulb of very mild young “green” garlic. And lots of fresh basil. I used a smidge of white wine balsamic. No sugar needed. All poured over whole wheat capellini, topped with shavings of ricotta salata. I actually forgot the drizzle of olive oil. Turns out we did not need that either. So fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious! I will be adding this to our regular rotation while the Summer tomato season lasts!

  74. Wendy

    Your ridiculously simple recipes are always my favorites and this is no exception. Barely had some leftover sauce and practiced enough restraint to put it on soft scrambled eggs the next morning. Delicious.

  75. Kathy Pickard

    How can anything this simple taste so good?
    Of course, it all depends upon the tomatoes. I used two heirloom varieties from the local farm stand, one orange and two rosy pink. Since I just had a bit of basil I added some sliced kalamata olives and crumbled feta. I spooned up every bit of “juice” left in the pan because it was just too good to discard.
    My husband remark was “Deb’s done it again”.

  76. Sally Pederson

    This is a great recipe. I love angel hair pasta and I’m trying to eat more raw foods, so this was a perfect combination. I used an extra garlic clove, but I found mine not to be too strong (I know garlic can vary greatly). I also add a little more red wine vinegar, again because of personal preference. Thanks for a great recipe.

  77. Sarah

    So I ended up letting mine sit for about four hours. I think I could’ve eaten this as a gazpacho like soup and done without the pasta. The flavor is incredible.

  78. Meredith Mulhern

    This was delicious- perfect for dinner on a hot summer night!

    I made exactly as is except I did strain the tomatoes before adding the rest of the seasonings and let sit for a couple of hours. Very flavorful! Definitely must use ripe, high quality tomatoes. I agree with the other comment that this is like an Italian pico de gallo- very apt!

  79. Jennifer

    Great recipe. Came together so quickly and with delicious results. Used a different recipe previously, but Deb’s is a tad better! (No surprise) no chives or scallions here, hence less pungent breath afterwards.

  80. sharonhildahanna

    Hello – thanks for this recipe in this morning’s email. FYI it says “one poud” of angel hair. ;-) Will make it tonight!

  81. Rachel

    I tried a “legit” spaghetti sauce last year and swore to myself that I would never forget the awful process blanching/peeling truly was… especially with the end result being nothing special. This recipe is an answer to my prayers! It’s not only super simple, but tastes absolutely amazing. I have been dreaming of a spaghetti sauce that actually tastes like fresh tomatoes. Who would have thought that raw tomatoes were even a legitimate possibility? Mind = blown

  82. Anna

    This was not my favorite. I let it sit for 2 hours before serving with pasta, but the sauce didn’t really adhere to the pasta and it failed to come together as a dish for me.

    I did heat up the leftovers on day 2 (pasta and sauce) and it was yummy.

  83. Janice V.

    In the first paragraph of this post, the link to “curious tuna salad” from New York Times magazine appears to be broken.

  84. Katiek

    I’ve been making a very similar sauce for years and never found it soupy. One thought as to why: I’ve never used angel hair pasta but one more substantial which can absorb the juices better. Just a thought….making it tonight with the tons of tomatoes a friend has given us. Love it—summer at its best.

  85. Laura C.

    I want to make this soon, but, I’m thinking that most of the seeds will make their way into the sauce. I think I might just follow in my Italian footsteps by blanching the tomatoes for a few minutes, peeling the skin off, and passing the tomatoes through a tomato mill. All the seeds are out in no time! The rest I will follow as you suggest, b/c you rock. Thank you! Can’t wait for next week when I will make it.

  86. Kerry

    I made this tonight with perfectly ripe tomatoes, and it turned out great as always. I did squeeze the juice and seeds out of all of my tomatoes, even the grated ones, to minimize wateriness. One clove of garlic grated with the small holes on the box grater was plenty. This recipe is a summer favorite. Thanks, Deb!

  87. Casey

    I made this using my garden tomatoes that had been blanched, skins removed, squeezed to emit seeds, roughly chopped and frozen in zip-lock bags. Mindful of the “soupy” comments of others, I defrosted the tomatoes in a colander. and drained juices again after the salt/lemon juice marinade. I confess to doubling the garlic. Your recipe has totally changed my concept of tomato sauce, and I think this recipe is noticeably superior in freshness, tomato flavor and lightness to traditional heavier sauces. I also confess to adding a handful of capers. Many thanks.

      1. You are welcome, Deb. I was at your book signing at Barbara Jo’s in Vancouver when you made caramels (?) I think. Love your recipes….BTW I wrote “The Book of Kale” – I know you hated kale for quite a while….

        1. deb

          That was such a fun event! I’ve come around to kale — I think I mostly resisted it because it was trendy and ubiquitous, which is just so funny for a leafy green that’s been around for a long time.

          1. Hi again Deb…..
            one of the reasons that kale tastes awful (It really does) for most folks is that at least here it comes from California or Mexico both of which are pretty hot. Kale really needs to be ‘kissed by frost’ then it becomes actually palatable. So kale grown in my garden tastes decent….sugar is nature’s antifreeze. Just as parsnips and carrots taste sweeter when left in the ground for a frost – it’s the same.

  88. Maureen

    This has become one of my fave meals. I’ve been using winter cherry tomatoes from grocery store–halving or quartering them rather than grating and it is still delicious. I do use a pinch of sugar. I press the garlic so no big chunks. Yum! Thank you for this lovely creation.

  89. Kelsey

    Made this tonight and it was delicious. Thanks, Deb!

    P.S. your link to the tuna salad pulls up a recipe for cauliflower soup 🙃

  90. Charl

    I make this all the time and it’s awesome! For the people who say it’s “soupy”… IMO, we’ve been conditioned for years by TV ads for jarred tomato sauces that sauce has to be thick to be good. I’m half Italian, live in a community with authentic Italian restaurants, and believe me, tomato sauce does not have to be thick to be good and this recipe proves it. As one poster said, you can always strain it if you need to.

  91. Liz B.

    This was great! My husband doesn’t like cooked tomatoes so this was a hit. I made a ton so there were leftovers for a few days, they kept really well. The first night I served this with burrata on top, with a side of broccoli roasted with smoked cheddar. Lots of cheese, lots of flavor. Great summer pasta!

  92. Joanna D

    I had a delicious crop these year of very flavourful, homegrown tomatoes. The flavour is great so I’ve been trying to use them in simple recipes that celebrate their flavour. I saw this recipe and thought I’d try it. It was great, definitely a keeper for summer! I had bucatini spaghetti instead of angel hair pasta, parmesan instead of ricotta salata, and I halved the recipe (just for two of us). I did include a pinch of sugar but I think next time I would skip it – if your tomatoes are really good quality I don’t think it’s necessary and potentially even a distraction. I was surprised to find I really liked the addition of lemon juice though! I did not core or peel any of the tomatoes – I couldn’t bear to throw out any good edible bits of tomatoes so good – except to cut out tough bits. Some commentators said they found the sauce ‘soupy’ – I didn’t find this an issue at all. Yes, the sauce has loads of liquid, but if you toss the pasta in it really well (and maybe have a good pasta-sauce ratio) it’s not an issue. And extra flavourful tomato juice, with a bit of bread to mop it up? YUM! More please. I’m not complaining. Thanks for a great recipe!

  93. Claire

    I’ve made this just about every Sunday of tomato season. The warm weather feels as fleeting as the perfect tomatoes and this recipe makes use of the garden and my time!!! No more than 15 minutes away from summer adventures and I have a meal that the whole family loves! Also omit the sugar for sure!!!!

  94. I love this recipe for Angel Hair Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce, it looks so fresh and flavorful. I love how the raw tomatoes give the sauce a bright and sweet taste, and the addition of basil and garlic makes it even more delicious. I will definitely be trying this recipe soon. This recipe is a great example of how simple ingredients can make a delicious dish, I love to share my own simple and delicious recipes on my blog Tasty Recipes, check it out.