Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs and Mozzarella

Spaghetti alla Checca


I discovered this refreshing summer dish at a restaurant called Cambusa in Positano. It is another one of those “uncooked” sauces where the ingredients are simply scalded with hot oil before tossing with the pasta.


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh, whole milk mozzarella
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Peel the tomatoes using a peeler, remove the seeds, and cut into ¼-inch dice. Cut the mozzarella into ¼-inch dice.
  2. Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, put in the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente
  3. Coarsely chop the basil and finely chop the oregano, marjoram, and thyme. Put the tomatoes, mozzarella and all the herbs in a serving bowl large enough to accommodate the pasta. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  4. Heat the olive oil until it is smoking hot then pour it over the mixture in the bowl.
  5. When the pasta is about 30 seconds from being cooked al dente, drain well and add to the bowl. Toss vigorously so that the spaghetti are well coated with the sauce. Cover the bowl for about 2 minutes before serving.

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