Summer Sauce Pasta

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 ‘Cruda’ (See my Pasta con Salsa Cruda) 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

Ingredient Notes

This recipe calls for Roasted Red Peppers. You can use a commercially prepared product available in a jar, or you can make your own following my post on How to Make Roasted Red Peppers. Alternatively, you could just use diced, raw red bell pepper instead.

You could also substitute for the Prosciutto with regular bacon cut into thin matchsticks, Italian Pancetta, or, if you really want to make  this dish a little more special, unctuous Guanciale.

The Basic Method

The prepared sauce ingredients for Summer Sauce Pasta
The prepared sauce ingredients for Summer Sauce Pasta

The first step is to stir the tomatoes, peppers, scallion, olives, capers and parsley together along with the olive oil and salt. Let this sit and marinate for at least an hour or so to allow the flavors to meld. Leave the Basil leaves separate for now as they will darken too much if added to the other ingredients.

Frying the Prosciutto with Garlic in Butter
Frying the Prosciutto with Garlic in Butter

When you are ready to cook, you can get the pasta going and then, 5 minutes or so before it Is 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.

Finishing the Summer Sauce Pasta
Finishing the Summer Sauce Pasta

Finally, finish the Summer Sauce Pasta by adding in the pasta, followed by the marinated ingredients, and stir for a half-minute or so. Add the Basil leaves and, when they are wilted, stir everything together one last time and serve topped with a little grated Parmesan.

Your Recipe Card:

Summer Sauce Pasta

This Summer Sauce Pasta finishes cooking Pasta with Prosciutto and then fresh, raw tomatoes and other herbs and aromatics are tossed in just before service.
Course: Main Dish, Pasta Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Basil, Capers, Pasta, Prosciutto, Red Peppers, Tomato
Author: John Thompson

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup diced fresh Tomatoes;
  • 1/3 cup diced Roasted Red Pepper
  • 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.

Instructions

  • 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 serve topped with a little grated Parmesan.

Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!