The Spamwise Chronicles

Orecchiette with Uncooked Tomato Sauce

It’s the height of tomato season here in New York City.

IMG_4682

One standby that I almost always seem to resort to when I just don’t feel like cooking is salsa di pomodoro, otherwise known as “uncooked tomato sauce”.

IMG_4641

IMG_4662

There are different ways to make this sauce, but for any of them to really work, you need ingredients that are at their peak of freshness and flavor. This is especially true of sauces that have five or less ingredients, not counting salt and pepper. There’s less to hide behind if your tomatoes aren’t up to par.

You’ll be tempted to add a couple of things and maybe the kitchen sink, because if fresh, ripe tomatoes are great, then a handful of mixed olives must be even better, right? Resist the urge to do so.

This sauce is all about a marriage between tomato, onion and herbs. It’s a forkful of summer in every bite. Don’t wait too long though! Autumn’s come a-knocking, right at the kitchen door.

Orecchiette with uncooked tomato sauce

Orecchiette with uncooked tomato sauce

Orecchiette with Uncooked Tomato Sauce

This sauce works best with fresh pasta, although dried pasta will be fine in a pinch.

2 tablespoons olive oil + more for garnish
1 large onion, peeled, trimmed and finely chopped
sea salt, to taste
freshly milled black pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
a generous handful of Italian parsley, chopped (should be about 1/4 cup)
1/2 lb. chopped tomatoes
1/2 lb. fresh pasta, such as orecchiette

Warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir once or twice, then reduce the heat to low. Cover. Sweat the onions for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and limp. Cooking the onions in this way will bring out their flavor and help sweeten them. You can’t really rush this step either. When done, it should look like this:

IMG_4537

In the meantime, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the orecchiette. Cook until pasta is al dente, then drain, reserving about 1/4 cup pasta cooking water.

Raise the heat to medium, then add the garlic to the onions.

IMG_4538

Sauté for a few minutes, or until the garlic begins to turn color.

IMG_4539

Stir in the parsley. Sauté for a few minutes, or until it begins to wilt.

IMG_4544

Add the orecchiette to the pan. Mix well. Cook for 1 minute. If the pasta seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water.

IMG_4546

IMG_4548

Stir in the tomatoes. Toss.

IMG_4549

Taste for salt and pepper, then serve at once. Garnish each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil drizzled on top.

Time: About 45 minutes, including prep.

This recipe is sized for 2 people.

This entry was published on September 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm. It’s filed under food, food photography, Italian food, summer, Union Square Greenmarket, vegan, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Orecchiette with Uncooked Tomato Sauce

  1. This simple pasta is a favorite of ours. When I don’t know what to cook, I always pull out the fresh tomatoes and pasta. I do sometimes add leftover protein, but we do enjoy the salsa di pomodoro. Pinned/shared.

    Like

What's your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: