This sauce is the epitome of late summer. Before we head into fall—the season of apples and pumpkins—grab onto those last few tastes of summer with this fresh and vibrant sauce. It’s best made with summer heirloom tomatoes (the more colorful the better!); however, you can also use “regular” tomatoes.
The first time I saw my grandma peel a tomato I was about nine years old. Before slicing my grandpa’s homegrown beauties, she would stand at the sink peeling tomato after tomato. It seemed like an awful lot of work, and to this day I don’t peel tomatoes. However, for this recipe I made an exception. The skins of heirloom tomatoes tend to be thick. The sauce has a much better texture if you take the extra time to peel the tomatoes. You’ll be glad that you did! If your heirlooms are ripe (but not squishy), the peel should come off pretty easily with a paring knife.
End of Summer Raw Heirloom Pasta Sauce
3 lbs. (about 4-5 large) heirloom tomatoes, peeled and diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
artisanal salt, to taste (Himalayan pink, Celtic, or fleur de sel are all good choices)
1-2 Tbsp. aged balsamic (optional)
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half (optional)
1 cup love
3 pinches of excitement
Peel the tomatoes. Dice them and put them in a large bowl. Pour off the liquid*. Mix in the minced garlic, olive oil, and salt. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and olives (if using). With intention, drizzle love over the entire bowl, and stir in hopes and dreams. Add three pinches of excitement for the future and blend until fully combined.
Don’t worry if the sauce seems liquidy (heirloom tomatoes expel a lot of water). The hot pasta will absorb some of the liquid. Let sit for approximately 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry. This is a good time to start making the pasta.
Toss the sauce with 1 pound cooked, hot pasta of your choosing.
*Tomato water is a delicious and healthful tonic. Save the liquid you pour off and enjoy it on ice (or use it as a base for a light and refreshing virgin bloody Mary).