I learned this from one of Pierre Franey’s books and I’ve been making it for years.
The best thing about it – making it early in the day and having the pleasure of walking by and taking in the amazing scent. Garlic, perfectly ripe tomatoes, and basil are all chopped, mixed together with a bit of good olive oil, and left sitting on the kitchen counter ’til dinner time.
Hy-Hope Farm at my local market had heritage tomatoes that I snapped up. They were the very best I’d had in years and made this dish even better. The darker hue on top hints at the lusciousness inside.
The fresh garlic in the photo came from the market, too. The basil is from plants I’ve been growing on my second storey deck, the only sunny place I have. The basils are Genovese and Opal; the Genovese for flavour, the Opal for colour, not that the purple is especially noticeable in the finished dish. Looks good in the picture though!
To make this – take one good sized tomato, 1/2 clove of garlic, lots of basil, 1 tbsp of olive oil, and 1/4 tsp salt – per person. Cut the tomatoes across the equator and squeeze out some of the seeds. Chop everything together and let it sit. An hour is enough but longer is better to enjoy the scent all day. When it’s time to eat, boil pasta (I like fusilli or penne for this, but any sturdy pasta will be good) until al dente, drain, and pour over the fresh sauce. Toss together. I like some grated parmesan on top but the traditionalists would say no, not with this pasta. Suit yourself.
Don’t bother making this out of tomato season. Not worth it. For the gluten intolerant, this cold sauce is really good on arborio rice, too.
Happy summer feasting.