This is another recipe that is really just a starting point for your creativity and what you have on hand. You can use any type of tomatoes, as long as they are ripe and juicy—and at room temperature. You can also add other vegetables—some like grated zucchini or a few handfuls of baby spinach or kale. Also feel free to toss in some protein, like leftover cooked shrimp, roast chicken, or pork, or a can of tuna. When you chop the tomatoes, make sure to scrap the juices from the cutting board into the serving bowl along with them—that’ll be the flavor base for this easy, uncooked sauce.
Mezzi Rigatoni with Raw Tomato Sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, preferably a variety of heirlooms
- Peperoncino flakes
- 1 pound mezzi rigatoni
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Chop tomatoes into ½-inch pieces, and add them and their juices to a serving bowl. Season with ½ teaspoonsalt and ¼ teaspoon pepperoncino. Toss, and let sit while you cook the pasta.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water. Meanwhile, combine the basil, parsley, and garlic in the work bowl of a mini-food processor. Pulse to make a chunky paste. With the machine running, add the olive oil to make a smooth pesto. Add to the tomato mixture, and toss.
- When the pasta is al dente, remove with a spider to the bowl with the tomatoes, and toss well. Add the mozzarella and grated Grana Padano, and toss well again. Season with salt if needed, toss again, and serve.