Summer Sauce Pasta

You occasionally run across recipes for ‘No-cook’ Italian Pasta Sauces in which diced fresh vegetables marinate together and are then tossed with piping hot pasta just before being served. Sometimes, these preparations are referred to as ‘Crudo’ or ‘Fresca’ sauces, but you also see them called ‘summer sauces’, presumably because they are ideal for weather in which it is too hot to do much cooking. Today’s recipe is a fairly good illustration of the basic idea but in this case I have added a bit of a twist by including some Prosciutto which is very quickly sautéed in butter before the pasta and remaining sauce ingredients are added… 

The Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup diced fresh Tomatoes;
  • 1/3 cup diced Roasted Red Pepper *See below.
  • 2 small Scallions, sliced;
  • 2 Black Olives, halved and sliced;
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Capers;
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Parsley;
  • 1 pinch Salt;
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. good quality Olive Oil.
  • 1 cup fresh Basil leaves, chop the larger ones;
  • ¼ cup shredded Prosciutto;
  • 3 tbsp. Butter;
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground Black Pepper;
  • Two portions freshly cooked Spaghetti (or other suitable pasta).

*For this recipe, I used some marinated Roasted Red Peppers I had in the refrigerator. You can use store-bought pimento, if you like, or simply substitute diced fresh red pepper.

The Method

Mix together the tomatoes, peppers, scallion, olives, capers and parsley along with the olive oil and salt. Allow this to sit and marinate for at least an hours or so.

When you are ready, melt the butter in a deep pan over moderate heat and then add the garlic and prosciutto. Stir for a few seconds, then add the ground black pepper.

Next, add the cooked pasta, stir to heat through and coat with butter and seasonings. Toss in the marinated mixture, stir for a minute or so, and then add the basil. When the basil leaves are wilted, stir everything together one last time and served topped with a little grated Parmesan.

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