This recipe uses raw tomatoes to make an amazing sauce – but be sure to choose the ripest tomatoes you can find, you want them as flavorful and as juicy as possible!
The juice, jelly, and seeds of the tomato are actually the most flavorful parts of the entire tomato. By adding them to the pasta water, all of that gets absorbed into the pasta infusing it with more tomato flavor!
By allowing the chopped tomatoes to sit in the salt mixture, the salt is absorbed into the tomatoes cells and causes the cell walls to burst, expelling the water that was contained within it.
After the hour, pour the mixture into a large sieve, collecting the flavorful juice in a large measuring cup. You should have at least 1 cup of tomato juice. Then separate the tomato mixture between 2 bowls.
To one of the tomato mixtures, use a potato masher (for a bit chunkier) or an immersion blender to pulse them to a pulpy consistency.
This method to cook pasta uses the exact amount of water (with some of the water substituted with the flavorful reserved tomato juice), so everything gets absorbed in to the pasta, with none of the flavor being poured down the drain.
Combine the 3 cups of water, 1 cup of tomato juice, and the pasta in a Dutch oven (using any other light-bottomed pot may allow the pasta to stick to the bottom). Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer (keep the lid on), stirring often until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Pour the cooked pasta (including the last of the liquid in the pot) into the large bowl with the chopped tomatoes, then add in the remaining ingredients along with the other tomato mixture.
Fresh Tomato (Pomodoro) Sauce
- 2 lbs very ripe tomatoes cored and cubed into 1/2" pieces
- 1 Tbsp fresh oregano chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 lb GF short pasta farfalle, elbow, penne, rotini
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- In a large bowl gently toss together the tomatoes, oregano, 1 Tbsp oil, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp salt and sugar. All to sit (and macerate) for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Drain mixture through a sieve, over a large measuring cup to collect the liquid. Press firmly with a spatula to remove as much juice as possible. Reserve juice, then divide tomatoes into 2 bowls. Pulse one of the mixtures a few times using a food processor or immersion blender until mushy. Set aside.
- Use a heavy bottom pot like a 4-6 quart Dutch oven to boil the pasta (this type of pot prevents burning/food sticking to bottom). Add in the 3 cups of water, the pasta, and the reserved tomato juice (need 1 cup-add water to top it up if necessary), and a bit more salt if desired (1/2 tsp). Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often until pasta is al dente, and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients, along with the 2 tomato mixtures, and remaining 2 Tbsp of oil. The heat from the pasta will warm the tomato mixture perfectly.
If I was to pick my favorite all round gluten free pasta brand, I would choose Barilla. However they don’t make a farfalle-style pasta, so I found this one from Jovial that was very good!