Bringing Europe Home

Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” Frederico Fellini

What It Is

I came across that little gem by Fellini while trolling for sayings for my “Quotes from the Masters,” and I thought it would be the perfect intro for the pasta sauce recipe I have for you today.

This is a raw tomato sauce (sort of a salsa), so garden fresh tomatoes and herbs are essential to its quality.  With only five ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and about 15 minutes, you can create a crowd pleasing pasta sauce–with no cooking required!

It’s almost like magic.

Bring It Home

Spaghetti al Pomodoro Crudo

  • 4 medium to large tomatoes, roughly chopped ( you want about 6 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and put through a garlic press
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined (but still chunky, not mushy).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (I use about 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper.)

Cook 1 lb angel hair pasta in salted water (it cooks in about 2 minutes–don’t over cook).  Strain well and transfer to a lovely serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss thoroughly.  Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Mangia!


My food processor is teeny-tiny, so I make this in batches and mix it together in a large bowl.

You can use gluten-free rice noodles to make this a gluten-free dish.

Toasted pine nuts make a delicious dairy free/vegan topping.

There are many variations to pomodoro crudo.  It can be made with crushed red peppers, capers, grated onion, black olives, lemon, and/or chunks of fresh mozzarella. Feel free to experiment!

You can let the sauce rest for 20 minutes to an hour before serving to let the flavors meld, but my recipe is packed with so many seasonings that I use it right away, and it’s plenty tasty.  Besides, by the time I get around to cooking dinner, we’re all very ready to eat .


  1. Stepping My Way to Bliss

    I am so doing this tonight with my campari tomatoes. Wonderful!

    • This is truly a great use of tomatoes of any sort. Enjoy!

  2. It seems as though a lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to make a quick tomato sauce, it’s fresh, fast, and sometimes it’s less expensive than the jar.

  3. Your pasta dish is one of my summertime favorites. I’m looking forward to when I’ll have heirloom tomatoes to pick.

    • Wonderful! I’m still checking my tomato plants daily, hoping to see some rosy red peeking through the green leaves.

  4. Very nice … This is very like another Italian dish called Pasta Salsa d’estate (I think it is) .. anyway it means Summer sauce… raw tomatoes,onion capers etc. Delicious!

  5. Given how much I love tomatoes, this is heaven! Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. sounds so wonderful for the summer! mmmmm

  7. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but I’m a Fellini nut! I’ve got a lot of films and music from the Italian golden age. Have you ever heard the music of Niño Rota?

    Now when I hear the music I’ll think of your pasta dish & more food!

    • Cool! He had some pretty great quotes, that guy. And I’ll have to check out Rota’s music–thanks, Girl! 🙂

  8. Oh my that looks so good!! Will definitely make it for my boys! Hugs midnight rider 😀 Sharon

    • You’re so cute! Yes, I do think of you and your words of wisdom when I’m crawling into bed around midnight. 😉 Hope your boys like this dish–my kids love it!

  9. Robin, your read my mind. This is on my menu for tonight, which I often do during the week, especially in summer. It is very similar to my “Pasta alla Crudaiola”, meaning all raw veggies with cooked pasta. Ciao.

    • Yes indeed, I had you in mind when I was writing this, Valentina! I’d love to see your recipe, as well–I hope you’ll consider putting it into a post. 😉

  10. Gina

    tis the season for this sauce! have not made this one, in a while. thanks for the idea.

    • Yes, tis the season, all right! I’d love to hear your version of this sauce, Gina–since you’re the finest cook I know. 🙂

  11. Simple but so delicious!! Love it! 😀

    • Right! Do you make this, Letizia? I’d love to see a post of your version. 😉

      • I have made it in the past….I’ll ask Luca if he wants to make it this summer; he’s normally the one who cooks at home….let you know!! 😀

        • Thanks! I’m so interested in all the variations of it–would love to know your favorite style.

  12. Just the kind of light sauce for our killing summers! Thanks

  13. This looks like a lovely summer dish and I like the idea of adding red peppers and roasted pine nuts. If we ever get any more warm weather this summer I will be making this! Your bowl/plate is beautiful, by the way. Thank you for the recipe! 🙂

    • You’re welcome, and thank you, Lorna, dear!
      I’d love to know how your version turns out.

      • I’ll be sure to let you know! 🙂

        • And, I’d be interested in hearing what tea you pair it with. (Kidding–sort of. 😉 )

          • You’re too kind, encouraging me to bore you with more tea tales!

            • But I love your tea tales!

              • Like I say, you are kindness itself. 🙂

                • Oh, stop!
                  But really–I would pair it with red wine. Or to be Southern about it–sweet iced tea.

                  • I might go for the iced tea if it was a hot day although it’s still a bit of an alien concept to me, this iced tea business. I wish I liked wine (unfortunately I overdid it as a student and haven’t been able to face it since, which is tragic) but I might just crack open a nice beer..

  14. As soon as I see some decent tomatoes I’ll make this! My basil is coming along nicely… and the parsley is begging to be cut! Thanks Robin! 😀

    • You’re welcome! I think you’ll like it, Cathy. My basil isn’t quite up to the task yet, and I’ve been getting tomatoes from the local farmers markets, but I hope to be using some of my own ingredients soon. 😉

      • I’d been thinking of this all morning and then I saw some beautiful tomatoes while out shopping… so I made it and it was DEElicious!! Didn’t have any basil, so just upped the parsley and added some dried herbs. I think this could be a favourite summer dish this year! 😀 So easy and tasty. A big thanks, and look forward to more recipes Robin!

        • I’m so glad! (And that’s what’s great about this recipe–you can use what you’ve got, and you can’t mess it up, really.)
          I’m well chuffed that you liked it and that you let me know, Cathy. Thank you!

  15. That will be especially delicious when we’re picking our own vine ripened tomatoes!

  16. Your recipe is pretty much the same as mine, although I usually add lemon too. It really is ridiculously easy, it’s hard to believe it takes practically no time and no sauce cooking required. And I like your serving bowl, it’s pretty!

    • Thanks, Weelbes!
      Come summer, I need “easy.” (Okay, who am I kidding– I need “easy” every season.) But this dish is such a winner–I plant tomatoes in April, in anticipation of this recipe. 😉

  17. donnar59


    • Yum is right! I’ve just made it in the blogosphere test kitchen twice in one week, and no complaining from the kids yet. 😉


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