Are you part of the "March Madness" heat wave that is sweeping the country? If so (or if you are lucky enough to live in a warm climate), I've got a great family recipe to share.
Usually, I don't make this recipe until the summer, but with 86 degree high temps in Chicago today, this is making an early appearance on the family menu.
No-cook pasta sauces taste fresh and delicious and they are SO easy. What more could a busy parent ask for?
Please note that you can alter this recipe to accommodate additional allergies, such as dairy or wheat by using gluten-free pasta and skipping the addition of mozzarella. The combination of fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil is so delicious all on its own.
I find that this sauce is a great way to get kids to eat some healthy vegetables (well, tomatoes are officially a fruit, but you know what I mean.) Enjoy this "summer" recipe before the heat wave is over!
Nut-Free Mom's No-Cook Pasta Sauce
About 6 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
Fresh basil leaves to taste (but don't be skimpy, they add so much flavor)
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed, or boccacini (fresh mozzarella balls), optional
A couple of good dashes of olive oil (I use Colavita)
Dash of wine vinegar (or I sometimes use apple cider vinegar, which can be more appealing to kid palates)
Fresh garlic to taste, 1 or 2 cloves, pressed
1 tsp. fine sea salt (Morton's makes this) or regular salt
Coarse black pepper to taste
Freshly shaved Parmesan to garnish, optional
16 oz. package pasta of your choice--penne is especially nice
Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour so that flavors can blend.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain, then toss immediately with "sauce" and serve.
Makes 4, good-sized main dish servings.