Spaghetti does not look the same on me as it does on Sophia Loren. Nevertheless, I wait all year to make Spaghetti Pomodoro Crudo. August in New Jersey is the perfect time to make this quick and delicious summer pasta. It is pure and simple. The quality of the tomatoes is paramount, and now is the time to use those farm stand or garden-grown perfectly ripe tomatoes.
For dinner tonight I cut three tomatoes horizontally, seeded them, and then cut them into smallish chunks. To them I added one clove of garlic, pressed, and a handful of basil cut up (or torn, if you like), some fresh mozzarella, and a couple of grinds of pepper. I then poured about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil over everything. Covered, this sat on the counter until dinner time. The mixture needs salt, but I waited until about thirty minutes before using it to add the salt so that it didn't become too watery. The sauce can sit out at room temperature for up to four hours. It's best to let it marinate for at least thirty minutes to an hour.
This sauce takes well to improvisation. So feel free to add whatever you might like--capers, hot pepper flakes, anchovies, olives--you get the idea.
Some use spaghetti in this recipe, but I prefer a pasta that can hold the sauce, such as orecchiette or shells.When the orecchiette ( I used 6 ounces for two servings) was cooked and drained, it was immediately added to the sauce. The heat from the just-cooked pasta began to soften the mozzarella and barely heated the tomatoes. Heaven. Be sure to have some crusty bread on hand to sop up the extra juices.
Green salads have seemed lackluster to me lately, so I made a cucumber and red onion salad. And it proved to be a cool counterpoint to the pasta.