A Tomato Sauce for Tomato Fanatics
I’m going a little crazy over tomatoes right now. And rightly so: we’re currently in the middle of primo tomato season. And although the window of prime tomato time lasts for about two solid months, I find myself constantly anxious that I’m not getting my fill; that I’ll look back on my amount of consumption this season and think of it as meagre; that I’ll be filled with regret instead of filled with tomatoes. I get anxious about getting to the farmers’ market early so I can have first dibs on the best fresh-off-the-vine beauts, and get equally concerned when faced with a grocery store tomato at this time of year, wondering why one would waste their time ingesting such a thing that was most likely grown in a hothouse somewhere in Kansas.
*No judgement……..okay, just a *little* judgement.
At my house we’re jonesin’ to use every shade, size, shape, and strain of these summer jewels in any and every way possible. This recipe for Fresh Tomato Sauce just might be one of my favorites. Because it’s no-cook, this sauce is a cinch to throw together at the last minute (score!) and also allows anxiety-ridden tomato consumers like me yet another opportunity to enjoy the bright, sweet, acidic, fresh, and delightful flavors of southern summer tomatoes. Plus, with both fresh basil and mozzarella, you’d be crazy not to love it.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
makes 2 entree-sized servings
6-8 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 small cloves or one large clove of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (about 6-10 leaves, depending on their size)
¾ cup mozzarella, roughly chopped*
2 Tbsp. good olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
*I like Buffalo mozzarella best — usually just one of those tennis ball sized hunks of the fresh stuff is enough — but shredded is also totally fine if you can’t find it fresh.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover bowl with a plate or plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes so the flavors can meld.
- Use a slotted spoon to serve sauce over angel hair pasta**. Garnish with additional basil if desired. Goes well with a fresh green salad and some good, crusty bread.
**Fresh pasta is so much better than the dried kind — there’s really no comparison — and making it yourself is surprisingly easy if you have the extra bit of time. I am partial to Marc Vetri’s 9 Yolk Pasta Dough, the recipe for which I found in his book, Mastering Pasta. Fortunately you can also find it here in his recipe for Tagliatelle with Wild Mushrooms. If you don’t have the time to make fresh pasta yourself (or you’re too lazy) stop by Lazzaroli’s in Germantown. This old school Italian market and pasta shop has arguably the best pasta in town!