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HOT PASTA with COLD SAUCE

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  • Fleur Jul 11, 2006 07:07 AM
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Fifteen years ago when I was living in Paris, one of my friends surprised me with a birthday dinner. She made a pasta dish that was truly memorable. It was a hot pasta served with a cold/room temperature sauce of fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, garlic salt and other things. I have misplaced the recipe.

This recipe was apparantly the hottest thing in Fairfield Connecticut, where this girlfriend was from. Everyone made it, talked about it, and raved.

If anyone can help recreate this, I would be most appreciative.

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  1. I'm not sure about this exact recipe, but I frequently do a cold pasta sauce during the summer, with really good, fresh ripe tomatoes (this is absolutely essential). I have no recipe. I just chop the tomatoes, add good olive oil, one or two bruised garlic cloves (which I usually remove before serving), basil, salt, pepper, and some dried chili. Add freshly cooked and drained pasta to the bowl and toss with cheese--usually parmesan or pecorino. I think that the beauty of this is that it's not an exact recipe. You can vary it as you like. Add some olives or some chopped arugula, add/substitute other herbs like parsley or mint.

    Another one I like is arugula pesto. Chop lots of arugula with a little garlic, S & P, chili, parmesan or pecorino, etc...add olive oil and toss with pasta. Delicious.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kagey

      My variation of the arugula pasta: Dice very ripe tomatoes and chop the fresh arugula. Toss this and some toasted pine nuts with hot pasta; grind over some pepper (optional -- squeeze a garlic clove). Top with grated pecorino or parmesan. One of my favorite foods.

      Sarah C

    2. Key question: is the mixing bowl and are the plates warm or cold?

      1. This is the recipe I like to use in the summer when the tomatoes are really fresh. I get them straight from my garden, wash, peel, and squeeze out a bit of the juice. This is the rest of the recipe. Use about 1 1/2 half pounds of tomatoes that are coarsley diced, add 1/2 c. evoo, 2-3 T. chopped fresh basil or mint leaves,1/2 c. chopped kalamata oilves,1/2 tea salt, 1/4 tea pepper and 4 oz.crumbled goat or feta cheese. Mix this together gently(except cheese) and let it sit in a bowl for at least 30 min. for the flavors to blend. Cook pasta, drain and return to pot. Add the tomatoe mixture to pasta in pot, toss, then add cheese and toss again. Serve at once.
        You can vary this in many ways. It's great with fresh mozzarell, scallions and garlic. Also good is raw fennel,basil and pecorino. I'm sure you'll come up with your fav combo.

        1. virgin sauce i.e. uncooked. Maybe some good olives and/or capers like a puttanesca. You have all the ingredients you need listed.

          1. Fleur, Google the name ED GIOBBI and you'll get some history about this pasta as well as his recipe. In the '70s, this artist who was friends with many "connected" food people in the NYC area resurrected his grandmother's dish to widespread acclaim. That this Italian farmhouse staple became the darling of "foodie" magazines in no way diminishes its delicious qualities. It is a summer treat, easy to prepare and unfailingly provokes wonder from the assembled eaters. Good Luck.

            1. This is usually referred to as "salsa cruda" (raw sauce). I would assume the bowl would be cold (or room temperature), as the idea is to add the hot pasta to the uncooked sauce in the bowl, so the bowl matches the sauce, not the pasta.

              Generally, one leaves the sauce to sit at room temperature for several hours (some people say up to 8 hours). Obviously, no meat in the sauce!

              The sauce will be a bit watery, but when you add the hot pasta (not overcooked, drained but not rinsed, not cooled) and toss, the pasta will absorb a bit of that water.

              As mentioned, the keys are: (a) fresh ingredients, (b) time to sit and meld flavors, (c) unrinsed, hot pasta.

              1. I had an extraordinary room temperature pasta dish (they called it pasta fredda) in Rome two years ago at a restaurant called Matriciana. It was warm fusilli with halved cherry tomatoes, tiny cubes of mozzarella, basil chiffonade, and some excellent olive oil. Simple in the way that only Italians have truly mastered. I think the key was using the best possible ingredients, well salted pasta cooking water, and a light hand with everything else. I have recreated this pasta with some success in the intervening years, using Sweet 100 tomatoes, local mozzarella, and basil from the farmer's market.

                1. I do much the same as above posters but add brie sometimes. It just melts into the hot pasta and is great.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Susan627

                    Oh that sounds good! Also, taleggio! It's like the Italian brie.

                  2. This sounds like something you don't need a recipe for. In fact, many Italians will make a dish like this based on what is fresh and good rather than what's in the recipe.
                    The other beauty of not having a recipe is making it different every time. You'll come up with a regular you make but sometimes you use red onions, sometimes vidalias. Sometimes you have some good olives and sometimes you don't have any. Whatever, just enjoy. It sounds great.

                    DT

                    1. I've made this one - I warn you, though, it's never as good as the first time! From the web site A Cooks Wares:

                      Cold Tomato Pasta - A Bitar Family Favorite

                      When the tomatoes in our garden ripen, our favorite dish using them is cold tomato pasta. We did not originate the recipe; we saw it in the original Food & Wine magazine and then adapted to our own taste.
                      It is really easy to make.

                      Ingredients for sauce:
                      4-6 medium size tomatoes, finely diced
                      1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
                      one (or more to taste) garlic clove(s), minced
                      1/2 cup of fresh basil, chopped
                      2 tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped
                      1 teaspoon of sea salt
                      1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground
                      pinch of cayenne pepper

                      Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together and let it stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, or longer if in the refrigerator.

                      Ingredients for pasta:
                      1 pound of spaghetti or penne
                      8 oz. mozzarella or jack cheese, diced

                      About 10 minutes before meal time, cook the pasta until tender but firm to the bite (7 or 8 minutes), drain the pasta, return to the warm pan, add the cheese, and toss to melt the cheese into the pasta.
                      Put a portion of pasta on each plate, top with the sauce and sprinkle with grated parmesan. 4 servings.

                      1. Thank you all for your tips and recipes.

                        I am going to the Farmer's Market tomorrow and will get the tomatoes.

                        My memory has been jolted and I remember more. The original used four large very ripe tomatoes, 1/2 cup basil, 6-10 cloves of garlic.

                        The mint sounds like a great addition.

                        Thanks to the OP who reminded us that it never tastes as good as it did the first time.