This is a room-temperature sauce that warms when tossed with very hot pasta. It’s a quick dish and perfect for a hot-weather meal.

Summertime Pasta with Raw Tomato and Olive Oil Sauce

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped or very thinly sliced

Sea salt

½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper (optional)

1/3 cup PLUS 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

½ cup olive oil

1 pound spaghetti

Combine the tomatoes, garlic, 1 teaspoon or so of salt, the chili pepper (if using), 1/3 cup basil and the oil in a large bowl. Cover and set aside at room temperature to marinate for several hours. If you must refrigerate the sauce at any point, be sure to give it plenty of time to come back to room temperature before serving it.

When ready to serve, bring 5 to 6 quarts water to a rolling boil in a pasta pot. Add salt, and when it comes back to a boil, simply add the pasta, cook, drain, turn into a heated serving bowl, and immediately toss with the sauce. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve immediately.

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— “Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil”by Nancy Harmon Jenkins

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