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Pasta with Salsa Cruda

Pasta with tomato salsa
Grace Parisi / TODAY

Chef notes

Jarred pasta sauce is fine and all, but summer calls for something fresh. Tomatoes are literally everywhere, but the last thing you want to be doing with them is standing over a hot stove stirring them endlessly for pasta sauce – save that elbow grease for the fall.


Instead, bring together ripe juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, pecorino, and lots of fruity olive oil to make a quintessential summer uncooked pasta sauce.  The only heat comes from the hot pasta, which soaks up all the delicious juices.  


  • 3 cups chopped ripe tomatoes, preferably a mix of heirloom and cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup extra–virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound fresh fettuccine or 12 ounces dried
  • 8 leaves basil, thinly sliced


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes and onions and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the olive oil and let sit until juicy, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pecorino.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well, shaking out the excess water and add to the bowl; toss well. Garnish with basil and serve with more pecorino and black pepper. 

Grace Parisi is a New York City-based food writer, cookbook author and food stylist. Her book, “Get Saucy,” was nominated for a James Beard award. Her latest book, “Quick Pickles” comes out in fall 2016. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.