Over the past few weeks as the weather has gotten nicer I've been running around outside so much that some of my more labor- and/or time-intensive cooking projects (making bread or soup, for example) have fallen by the wayside. In fact I just wasn't cooking that much at all for a couple of weeks. So it was with great pleasure that I recently became reacquainted with a healthy and speedy standby: uncooked sauce for pasta. Read on to find out how my delicious dinner came together in 15 minutes.
I returned home ravenous from a long bike ride and immediately set a pot of water on the stove to boil. While waiting for the water to boil, I changed out of my bike clothes, drank a bunch of water, and poured myself a glass of wine. The water boiling, I tossed in some salt and penne. While the pasta was cooking, I halved cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped a bunch of basil, minced a couple cloves of garlic, and mixed it all up with some olive oil. When the pasta was al dente, I drained it and tossed it with the tomato mixture and crumbled goat cheese. The goat cheese and the juices from the tomatoes combined to make a lovely creamy sauce, and the basil and fresh garlic added a pleasant sharpness. Plus, the cold leftovers were quite tasty the next day for lunch.
I just searched through the Epicurious recipe database and found some great variations on this concept, including the following:
Pasta à la Checca, with arugula (pictured)
Pasta with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese, which has olives but no garlic
Fusilli with Fresh Tomato and Olive Sauce, with crushed red pepper, red wine vinegar, and Parmesan cheese
Angel-Hair Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce, which has lemon juice
Fusilli with Corn and Uncooked Tomato Sauce, with corn and scallions
Orecchiette with Salsa Cruda and Ricotta, dressed up with fresh cheese and shallots
Artichokes, Capers, Olives, Lemon Zest, and Italian Tuna on Pasta Shells, an exciting variation without tomatoes
Do you have any great uncooked pasta sauces to share? How about some additional ones without tomatoes for a little variety?
by Megan O. Steintrager
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