Fresh ripe tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil come together to create a bright and flavorful no-cook tomato sauce with little effort. Serve this 5-ingredient fresh tomato sauce (or sugo di pomodoro crudo) with pasta, or use it as a fresh pizza sauce or as a simple topping for bread!
Sugo di pomodoro crudo AKA no cook pasta sauce!
Of the many ways to use fresh tomatoes, I have recently fallen in love with one more: no-cook tomato sauce!
And let me tell you, this simple 5-ingredient red sauce is one of the best ways to celebrate summer’s bounty of fresh tomatoes.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always make my hearty, well-simmered homemade spaghetti sauce. But this uncooked tomato sauce (also known as sugo di pomodoro crudo, or just pomodoro crudo) is just the thing when you’re craving pasta but don’t feel like spending the time at the stove. Plus it’s refreshing and can be used in many ways–including as a topping on hefty artisan bread.
If you can imagine a cold tomato soup, you can totally imagine a no-cook tomato sauce, especially when it’s flavored with things you may already have on hand including good extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and dried oregano. Plus, it takes only 10 minutes or less of active work.
For best results, once you season freshly grated tomatoes, you’ll let them sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. That’s all it takes to make pomodoro crudo.
And once you make it, you’ll find many uses for this raw tomato sauce. You can toss it with freshly cooked penne, spread it on your pizza dough, or use it as a topping for some blanched asparagus. If nothing else, just enjoy it bruschetta-style, simply spread on some good bread!
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Ingredients you need to make it
With a few pantry staples, you can have uncooked pasta sauce in a flash! Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Fresh ripe tomatoes - Roma, on-the-vine, or slicer tomatoes would work. And because this raw tomato sauce relies heavily on the taste of the tomatoes for its flavor, try to find the best quality tomatoes that you can.
- Garlic - I use 2 to 3 cloves of peeled garlic, but if the taste of raw garlic is too much for you, reduce to 1 clove. No need to mince or chop the garlic – it gets grated directly into the sauce.
- Parsley - 1 cup of fresh chopped parsley adds bright color and freshness, as well as a peppery bite to the sugo di pomodoro crudo.
- Dried oregano - A generous amount of oregano adds earthiness and a hint of minty flavor.
- Extra virgin olive oil - You’ll want to use the best quality olive oil possible for this sauce, since the freshness of the ingredients means there is no way to disguise a poor-tasting EVOO. I like our Italian Nocellara extra virgin olive oil here, with its aroma of freshly picked tomatoes.
How to make no cook tomato sauce (pomodoro crudo)
This raw tomato sauce takes just 10 minutes of prep, and then rests for 30 minutes. I like to set my bowl of tomato sauce in the sun. The sun helps the flavors meld together faster, but you can also simply set the bowl on the kitchen counter. Here’s how to make no-cook tomato sauce:
- Grate the tomatoes. Wash 1 ½ to 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes and place them on a cutting board, stem side down. Make a shallow X-shaped cut at the top of each tomato to help the skin peel off as you grate.
Set a box grater in a large bowl and grate the tomatoes into the bowl. Be careful and use a good grip on the tomatoes so they don’t slip out of your hands while grating. Once the tomatoes are grated, discard the peels or chop them up to use later.
- Make the no-cook tomato sauce. Grate 2 to 3 peeled garlic cloves into the bowl with the tomatoes. Follow that with 1 cup of fresh chopped Italian parsley and 2 teaspoons dried oregano. Season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil. Mix well and set the sauce aside for 30 minutes or so. This allows the salt to coax tomato juices out for a good sauce, and lets the herbs and oil infuse it with flavor.
- Cook the pasta and serve. While the fresh tomato sauce rests, cook the pasta of your choice according to package directions until al dente. After straining it, immediately add the hot pasta to the sauce and toss. You can also add a spoon or two of starchy pasta water to the tomato sauce to make it more silky and to help it cling to the pasta better. Serve immediately, while the pasta is warm.
Leftovers and storage
Fresh uncooked tomato sauce can be stored in the fridge in a tightly closed Mason jar for 3 to 4 days. Add a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on top of the tomato sauce, then close the jar well before storing in the fridge. The olive oil will act to seal the tomatoes – an extra layer of protection. Allow the leftover sauce to return to room temperature before serving.
To freeze, pour the no cook tomato sauce into freezer safe bags or containers. It freezes well for 2 months.
More no-cook tomato recipes
Fresh No-Cook Tomato Sauce with Pasta
- 1 ½ to 2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, (Roma, on-the-vine, or slicer tomatoes will work)
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Penne or pasta of your choice
- Arrange the tomatoes flat on a cutting board with the stem side resting on the board. Using a small but sharp knife make a shallow cross-shaped cut at the very top of each tomato (this will help the skin peel right off when you begin to grate the tomatoes).
- Place a box grater in the middle of a large bowl. Now, holding the tomato with your dominant hand, place the cut side of the tomato on the coarse grating side of the box grater (the side with the wider holes) and carefully grate the tomatoes using a top-to-bottom motion until you end up with the peel in your hand. (Discard the tomato peel or chop it up for other use). You should end up with the juicy tomato sauce in the bowl with no peel.
- Using the same grater, grate the garlic right in the bowl over the tomato sauce. Add the chopped parsley, and dried oregano, and season with a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle a nice 2 tablespoons of some good extra virgin olive oil.
- Stir the sauce to combine and give it a taste. Set it aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld a bit (I left mine out in the sun).
- Cook your pasta according to box instructions and drain. While the pasta is hot, immediately add it in and toss in the sauce. If you like, add just a couple spoons of the starchy pasta cooking water.
- Best tomatoes to use: Ripe Roma, on-the-vine, or slicer tomatoes work well. Choose the best ripe tomatoes for this recipe.
- Leftovers and storage: Fresh uncooked tomato sauce can be stored in the fridge in a tightly closed mason jar for 3 to 4 days. Add a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on top of the tomato sauce then close the jar well before storing in the fridge. The olive oil will act to seal the tomatoes; an extra layer of protection.
- Freezing instructions: Pour the tomato sauce into freezer-safe bags or containers. It freezes well for 2 months.
- Visit our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils (like the Italian EVOO used in this recipe), all-natural and organic spices, and more.