Serves a Crowd

Spaghetti with "No Cook" Heirloom Tomato Sauce

July 23, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 8 first courses or 4 main courses
Author Notes

I was always wild about tomatoes. Even as a young child I remember biting into sun ripened tomatoes straight out of my mother's garden. I also remember tasting my first "raw" tomato sauce in Rome, prepared by my dear family friend, Marina. For years I pestered my mother to recreate that pasta here at home. However, our tomatoes never seemed to taste like the ones I had in Rome, that is, until the heirloom tomatoes appeared in our markets. This pasta dish is a tribute to my mother and Marina, the two biggest culinary influences in my life. Grazie mille mama e Marina! —cucinettaNYC

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes (brandywine, Cherokee purple, green zebra and sweet orange), cut into chunks
  • 1 burrata (cheese) - if burrata is unavailable, you can substitute with fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 gloves of garlic, minced - use a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon dried chile flakes (pepperoncini)
  • 1 handful torn basil leaves
  1. Place large pasta or stock pot of water on high heat and let boil, at which point add a healthy handful of salt (you want the water to almost taste like the sea) and put in the spaghetti. NOTE: never add olive oil to water and never put a lid on pot after you have put in the pasta.
  2. Next add olive oil to saute pan and place on medium heat.
  3. When pan is hot enough, add garlic and pepperoncini and cook until garlic nearly dissolves (but does not burn) and the hot pepper flakes flavor the oil, approximately 1 minute.
  4. Pasta should be done (al dente) in approximately 8 minutes. Drain and put in serving bowl.
  5. Coat pasta with warm garlic-chile flavored oil, toss in heirloom tomatoes.
  6. Using your hands, tear the burrata into bite size pieces and sprinkle on pasta and tomatoes.
  7. Mix all ingredients. The heat from the pasta will "melt" the burrata.
  8. Top with handful of freshly torn basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Note: you may want to add a little more olive oil at the end to finish the dish and make it glisten.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • MaureenOnTheCape
  • JoanG
  • cucinettaNYC
  • Sherri

12 Reviews

MaureenOnTheCape August 28, 2012
I am embarrassed to reveal how many servings of this I had at once. I agree with other cooks who find this remarkably simple but with a many-layered flavor. Thank you cucinettaNYC. It's easy to see why you won.
Sherri September 9, 2010
I love the idea of no-cook. Heirlooms are so delicate to me that I think letting the heat from the pasta warm them is enough. I'm trying this recipe tonight. Thanks
kotyk July 30, 2010
A wonderful combination - and tonight is pasta night - must give this a try.
cucinettaNYC July 30, 2010
Let me know how it goes!
vova July 30, 2010
Great combination of flavors and sounds easy to prepare.
Will give it a try as soon as I get my hands on that burrata cheese.
cucinettaNYC July 30, 2010
I just bought some burrata at Whole Foods and it was very good.
irenehoydysh July 30, 2010
We never tire of any kind of tomato but ripened heirloom tomatoes are a real treat. This recipe sounds delicious and so easy to prepare. It's dinner for tonight! Thx! :)
cucinettaNYC July 30, 2010
Thank you, let me know what you think.
This dish takes advantage of fresh, plentiful summer ingredients and allows you to get dinner on the table quickly, without breaking a sweat. Who wants to slave over a hot stove on a hot summer day? Quick dinner, minimal cleanup, and back outside into the pool = perfect summer evening.
cucinettaNYC July 28, 2010
Even better, the combination of all these flavors will make everyone think you spent hours in the kitchen : )
JoanG July 25, 2010
Wow, sounds amazing. I am going to try this.
cucinettaNYC July 25, 2010
So glad to hear that! Let me know what you think