No-Cook Tomato Pasta Sauce with Mozzarella Pearls, Kalamata Olives and Fresh Basil is one of our favorite summer pastas. It is light and fresh tasting, and very easy to make! Add a side plate of grilled Italian sausage and a glass of Sangiovese for the perfect summer Sunday dinner.
Like all good Italian recipes, using the best quality ingredients is key. For No-Cook Tomato Pasta Sauce, only use canned San Marzano whole, peeled tomatoes or fresh, ripe summer tomatoes straight off the vine. The crushed tomatoes are marinated at room temperature with lots of chopped garlic, fresh basil. extra virgin olive, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper for up to two hours. You can use any fresh mozzarella broken into small bite-size, or even substitute teaspoons of fresh ricotta cheese. I love the small “pearl” shaped fresh mozzarella balls from Bel Gioioso, a brand carried by many grocer chains. Be sure the kalamata olives are pitted before you toss them in the pasta.
The recipe is so simple. Throw the tomatoes, olive oil, peeled garlic cloves, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse 3-4 times or until the garlic is chopped and the tomatoes are crushed. That’s it! Transfer to a large glass bowl, and add a sprig of fresh basil for extra flavor. Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for up to two hours.
I cooked a thick spaghetti called bucatini for this recipe. You can choose any pasta shape you desire such as angel hair or penne. The important point is to cook it al dente and use lots of salt in the pasta water for seasoning.
Quickly toss the hot cooked pasta with several ladles of marinated tomato sauce and a few handfuls of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Add the “pearls” of fresh mozzarella, pitted kalamata olives and more fresh basil.
- 2 28 ounce cans San Marzano peeled tomatoes
- 6 cloves fresh garlic peeled
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Sprig of fresh basil washed
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
- 8 large basil leaves chiffonade for garnish
- ½ cup Mozzarella Pearls
- ½ pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt for pasta water
- 1 16-ounce package bucatini pasta (or any desired pasta shape)
Place tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper(s) in the food processor and pulse 3-4 times until chopped. The garlic will be minced. Transfer to a glass bowl Add the basil sprig. Cover with saran wrap. Allow marinating at room temperature up to two hours.
Cook pasta a la dente according to package instructions.
Immediately add hot pasta to a large pasta serving bowl. Quickly add half of the tomato sauce, pearl mozzarella balls, kalamata olives and grated parmesan cheese. Toss to combine while the pasta is hot.
Add more sauce if needed.
Garnish with basil chiffonade and more grated parmesan.
The extra tomato sauce can be stored in the fridge for several days or frozen in a ziplock bag for future use.