Strong Summer Sauce
Strong Summer Saucehas been one of my favorite recipes for many years. The ingredients that make it a “strong” sauce are garlic, olives, capers, red chile pepper flakes, and anchovies. It’s reminiscent of a Puttanesca sauce, but this is a raw sauce – perfect for a quick summertime meal.
The original recipe is from Viana La Place & Evan Kleiman’s Pasta Fresca. They actually have a whole chapter called “Pasta with Raw Sauces”, but I’ve never gotten past the Strong Summer Sauce. (Note to self: Check out some of the other raw sauces this summer.)
Don’t be put off by the anchovies. They are minced and blended in to the sauce. No one will even know they are there, but they do add a lot of umami goodness.
I was not able to score perfect tomatoes. I used supermarket tomatoes. The sauce was still good, but great home-grown tomatoes definitely take this recipe to another level.
If you have access to wonderful ripe summer tomatoes, do try this Strong Summer Sauce tossed with your favorite pasta. Delizioso!
Orecchiette with Strong Summer Sauce
Strong Summer Sauce
(Adapted from Viana La Place & Evan Kleiman’s recipe in Pasta Fresca)
Serves 3 – 4 (doubles easily to serve 4 – 6)
1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice* (see note below)
2 anchovies, minced
¼ cup pitted oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (I used kalamata olives.)
1½ tablespoons small capers
½ bunch Italian parsley, leaves chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
¼ teaspoon red chile pepper flakes
Salt to taste
¼ cup olive oil
½ pound orecchiette (Cavatappi, campanelle, or any pasta you like to use for chunky sauces would also work.)
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (Optional)
Some of the ingredients in Strong Summer Sauce
1. Stir the tomatoes, minced anchovies, black olives, capers, parsley, garlic and red chile pepper flakes together in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes.
2. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste, if needed.
3. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Toss the pasta with the sauce.
4. Top with grated cheese, if desired.
I used a vegetable peeler to add a bit of Pecorino Romano cheese.
*To easy peel and seed the tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil. Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove. The skin will peel right off. Cut the tomatoes in half, and scoop out the seeds. I find it easiest to use my fingers.