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Uncooked Summer Cherry Tomato Sauce

How about some no-cook sauces for your favorite pastas? They are just the ticket for hot summer days when you want to stay cool but still be able to whip up something yummy for dinner that isn’t time consuming. Here is one to make ahead that I absolutely use all summer long.

For this sauce, it is imperative that you use fresh, ripe in season tomatoes. Not tomatoes from the grocery store. I am spoiled since I just run into my garden and harvest cherry tomatoes when I want to make it.  I like Sweet One Hundreds and Sun-Gold, a yellow variety of cherry tomato that is as sweet as sugar. No cherry tomatoes? The uncooked tomato sauce works with plum tomatoes, too. Let me know how you like it because I have more.

Summer Tomato Sauce with Cherry Tomatoes

sliced cherry tomatoes with olive oil and chopped basil in a white bowlServes 4


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled

8 large fresh basil leaves, stemmed

1/4 cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

2 cups cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 teaspoon salt

Coarse black pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sugar (Optional)


Pour the olive oil into a bowl and set aside. Make a pile on a cutting board of the garlic, basil, and parsley. Mince with a chef's knife or put the ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times until they are minced.

 Scrape the garlic mixture into the olive oil.

 Add the tomatoes to the olive oil with the salt and pepper and  sugar. Mix well.

Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to marinate several hours at room temperature before using.

Stir occasionally to blend the ingredients. The sauce can also be made a few days ahead of time and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.

 To use on pasta, cook ½ pound of short cut pasta  such as farfalle, rigatoni or fusilli until al dente.

Drain and toss the pasta while hot with the room temperature sauce. Serve immediately with grated cheese passed on the side.


  1. Nikki Stauffer's avatar

    Nikki Stauffer

    This has to be my new favorite - I love the combination of flavors and textures when I have this over pasta.

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