Fresh Summer Tomato Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 2 cups

Appears in

The New Basics Cookbook

By Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso

Published 1989

  • About

Tomatoes must be the sweet, honest, sun-ripened-to-almost-bursting garden variety for this classic sauce. When you are lucky enough to get them, then the simplest sauce with just a few herbs does them the greatest justice.

This sauce is to be found all through central Italy in the warm summer months; it is usually made in the morning and allowed to ripen at room temperature all day in a covered bowl. It’s really a salad!


  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions (green onions)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, and blanch the tomatoes in the water for 30 seconds. Then plunge the tomatoes into cold water (to stop the cooking). Drain the tomatoes, and peel them.
  2. Remove the cores, and cut the tomatoes in half. Remove as many seeds as possible, and drain off the juices. Dice the tomato pulp.
  3. Combine the diced tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a mixing bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the Parmesan, and toss to blend. (If not using the same day, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before tossing with the pasta.)
  4. To serve, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss with hot pasta. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.