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.
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!
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. (Post updated from last August with a video to prove how EASY this is.)
- 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.