Main dishes Quick Recipes Summer Vegetarian

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Tracking PixelThe following post – which includes one of my all-time favorite easy recipes – is sponsored by Wolf.

tomato basil pasta

When I was in graduate school in Boston, my friends and I got together every Sunday night to watch The Sopranos over Italian food and cheap wine.

Our meals were simple. Sausages with sautéed peppers and onions, bread dipped in marinara sauce, cheese pizza on dough we bought at the neighborhood pizza joint. None of us knew much about cooking, and since we were all students or in new entry-level jobs, we didn’t have big food budgets or fancy kitchens.

But we had so much fun. And this weekly experience – though casual and even comical (sometimes we had to share forks or plates!) – really began my love for cooking and entertaining.

One week, I spotted a recipe for no-cook tomato sauce in the free newspaper that was distributed on the subway every morning. It was summertime and there were ripe tomatoes everywhere, so I clipped the recipe and made a version of it the following Sunday. This super simple sauce, which we tossed with hot spaghetti noodles, was so delicious that we ended up making it again and again.

Thirteen years later, it remains one of my favorite summertime meals.

fresh tomato sauce

(Though now, I make it with my kids instead of a steady stream of Two Buck Chuck 😉 ).

fresh tomato sauce

This meal is perfect for involving the kids, since the recipe doesn’t require any cooking beyond boiling some noodles. While you rough chop tomatoes, kids can pick basil leaves off the stem, then help blend up the sauce.

fresh tomato sauce

Once the pasta is ready, you simply toss it with the fresh sauce and serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese or more basil leaves. That’s it!

fresh tomato sauce

It’s meals like this – that are quick to prepare and use minimal ingredients – that have allowed my family to reclaim our kitchen. To continue cooking and eating at home, despite all the obstacles that can get in our way.

For more inspiration, check out the video and recipe ideas on, and don’t miss these easy dinner recipes created by some of my other favorite bloggers:

Friday Night Fajitas

Country Sausage Hash with Steamed Eggs

Easy Homemade Egg Noodles – a perfect match for my No-Cook Tomato Sauce!

Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Total time
This no-cook pasta sauce is ready in 5 minutes, and is the perfect way to use summer's tastiest tomatoes!
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 8 medium-large ripe tomatoes (the fresher and more flavorful, the better!)
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic (use more if desired)
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 oz spaghetti or any pasta you like
  1. Bring a pot to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, cut tomatoes into quarters and place in a blender along with the garlic, basil leaves and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Pulse until sauce has formed, but still has some texture to it (I like to leave some chunks of tomato).
  3. Taste sauce and season with salt & pepper as desired.
  4. Drain cooked pasta and return to pot. Toss with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil then pour all the sauce from the blender into the pot and toss to combine.
  5. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and more chopped fresh basil leaves.


Any tips or ideas that have made family mealtime easier at your house? I’d love to hear ’em!

This post is brought to you by Wolf, as part of their Reclaim the Kitchen campaign. As always, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting this campaign and my blog!

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  • Liz @ The Lemon Bowl
    May 18, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I love hearing about your old days in Boston!! I’m book marking this recipe for August when we finally get our tomatoes!!

  • Tara
    May 18, 2015 at 5:38 am

    This sounds so good! I love how simple dishes are sometimes the best. My oldest will love helping make this!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    May 18, 2015 at 10:30 am

    What an easy dinner dish! I’m not a pasta eater, but I always make my own sauces!

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 18, 2015 at 10:43 am

    So true about simple dishes! What a relief because sometimes that’s all I can manage 😉

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 18, 2015 at 10:44 am

    If only we’d spent some of our Boston days together 😉 I bet Asher will love helping you make this!!

  • Jessica @ Nutritioulicious
    May 18, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    So simple and delicious! Love no-cook tomato sauce when tomatoes are at their prime in the summer! Your daughter is so cute – how old is she? This is definitely a great recipe to make with the kids!

  • Ashley
    May 18, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Love this! So simple and perfect for summer. Great photos!!

  • Nicole
    May 18, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    I love how simple this recipe is. But it looks like it is full of flavor!

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 18, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    That’s the beauty of it – so simple yet it’s equally as flavorful as a sauce that simmered for hours!

  • Rachel Cooks
    May 19, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Love the simplicity of this – sometimes (almost always) the simple recipes are the greatest recipes. Love the photo of your daughter helping. <3

    PS: Your Sopranos watching parties sound so fun!

  • Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons
    May 19, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Now I just want to go back and re-watch The Sopranos . . . AGAIN. Loved that show. Love this sauce! I fully admit that I’m kind of pasta sauce lazy, and reach for jars of it quite a bit. But this – I can DO this. Thanks Amelia!

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Sometimes I get jealous of people who haven’t seen the series yet — they are in for such a treat!! (And p.s. I use jarred sauce a lot too – but in the summer this is really just as easy!)

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    Isn’t that the truth? Simplicity almost always rules 🙂

  • Christi @ Love From The Oven
    May 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I love how easy and delicious this is! I’m working on teaching my daughter to cook more this summer, and this recipe is so perfect to work with her on. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Amelia Winslow
    May 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    It’s the perfect recipe for kids because you don’t have to worry about stove safety!

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