I was informed last week by cyber buddy Antonio that I had no recipes from Italy. His observation led me to much pondering. We are truly creatures of habit, even those of us who think we are experimental. Growing up and for the most part to the present, Italian food is pizza from a restaurant or Spaghetti with Ragu from the jar. Occasionally we might visit a restaurant and enjoy spaghetti or ravioli. But throughout my life, no Italian food was homemade. My sister Kathy was blessed with Italian in-laws who shared a few recipes, but still she and I tend to shy away from something we perceive as easier to cook from a jar. As my Mother's recipes were no help, I turned to my Grandmother and did find a good recipe to begin learning about this fabulous cuisine.
As the weather is turning warm, I prefer a lighter meal over one steaming on the oven. My lack of central air conditioning plays a big part here. Grandma's Pasta with Uncooked Tomato Sauce was just the ticket to learn about fresh Italian cooking. There isn't a lot of messing around here. The quality of your ingredients make or break this delicious sauce.
Pasta with Uncooked Tomato Sauce
1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil
1 cup fresh mozzarella or fresh buffalo mozzarella, diced
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt to taste
generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 pound pasta
Blanch the tomatoes by dropping them into rapidly boiling water for one minute and then dropping them into a bowl of ice water. Peel skins from the tomatoes and gently squeeze to remove the seeds. Chop tomatoes and place in large bowl. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, mozzarella, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper flakes, to taste, and let stand, covered at room temperature for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. To serve, cook pasta until it is al dente, drain well and add it to the sauce. Toss and serve immediately.
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