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The simplest recipes are often the best. Not to say that complicated food can’t be delicious, because of course it can. But I leave that to the restaurateurs, and thank them for the effort! But for me, and I think for most home cooks, utterly simple yet fantastic dishes are the goal. This checca sauce with spaghetti (pasta alla checca) qualifies.

Checca Sauce with Spaghetti served in a white bowl

When you need dinner in a hurry and you’re lucky enough to be in the peak of tomato season, this is the easiest (and I would argue most delicious) pasta recipe there is! Dinner on the table in 15 minutes. (You can also make your own pasta with this easy food processor pasta dough.) And if you have a hearty appetite, this is wonderful served with a hunk of Cheesy Garlic Bread!

What is checca sauce?

It is a raw pasta sauce made by combining summer superstar ingredients like vibrant and sweet heirloom tomatoes, delicately spicy young garlic, the minty licorice sparkle of fresh basil, creamy fresh mozzarella and briny olives, then toss them with hot, freshly cooked pasta and voilà, a king’s dish!

Ingredients for Checca Sauce or Pasta Alla Checca
How to Make Checca Sauce or Pasta Alla Checca

More Must Try Pasta Recipes

Checca Sauce Recipe Video

Checca Sauce with Spaghetti

5 from 3 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 675
Servings: 4 people
Get creative with this simple dish: try other fresh herbs, spice it up with some minced jalepeno or serrano pepper, use Parmesan or chèvre instead of mozzarella.


  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or more
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes any variety, cut into bite size chunks
  • 24 pitted kalamata olives or a mix of green and black, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cut into bite size chunks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a handful of basil leaves thinly sliced


  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients, except basil, in a large bowl (large enough to hold the pasta too) and gently stir to combine.
  • Season raw sauce to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • When pasta is al dente, scoop the pasta directly over the sauce and gently toss to combine.
  • Add more olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle basil slices over the top and serve immediately.


Calories: 675kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 744mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1994IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 338mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Kim Kautzer says:

    5 stars
    Fresh, easy, delicious, and beautiful — the caprese version of spaghetti! Marissa, this is my absolute favorite way to use our garden heirlooms at their peak of summer ripeness. I’m only sorry it took me a few years to leave you a comment telling you how much we love your recipe for checca sauce.

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      aww…you made my day, Kim! Such a sweet comment. Thank you for coming back to let me know!!

  2. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    I ADORE this idea, Marissa. I think I’ve made something similar at home before, but I didn’t realise it was ‘a thing’!

    I certainly didn’t know it was called checca sauce, so thank you for teaching me! Delicious!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      My pleasure, Helen!

  3. Sabrina says:

    This is one of the best things to do with summer tomatoes! I’m totally craving this pasta now!

    1. Marissa says:

      Come on over, I’ll make you a bowl! xo

  4. annie@ciaochowbambina says:

    5 stars
    I am a huge fan of simple, delicious and satisfying meals…and this checks all the boxes! Plus – it’s beautiful to boot! Love it, Marissa! Pinned!

    1. Marissa says:

      Such a sweet comment. Thank you, Annie!

  5. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    5 stars
    I’ve never heard of ‘checca’ before, but I do know that all of this sounds divine! Plus, how fun is it to say ‘checca’?? If only I had this in front of me right now!! Love all those gorgeous colours and especially that cheese 😉 Pinning! XO

    1. Marissa says:

      checca, checca, checca!! It really is fun to say. 😉 Thanks, friend!