Pasta Fresca

Save Recipe
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 31 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 16 min
  • Yield: 8 Servings
Share This Recipe


1/2 cup olive oil

12 cloves garlic, minced

4 large shallots, or 2 small onions, diced

1 cup walnut pieces, or pine nuts

2 cups lightly packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped

12 medium-size tomatoes, diced or 2 (28-ounce) cans Italian Roma tomatoes, drained

1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely sliced

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried chile peppers, or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, whole

8 servings of fresh or dried pasta, any style or flavor

1 loaf rustic country-style or sourdough bread

4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated just before serving


  1. Assign 1 guest to pit the olives and another to dice the tomatoes.
  2. Bring 12 cups of water and 1 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a large pot.
  3. At the same time, in another large pot over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil along with the garlic, shallots, and walnuts. Stir occasionally for 6 minutes, or until they just begin turning golden.
  4. Add the basil and stir for 30 seconds (to release their flavors).
  5. Add tomatoes, olives, remaining salt, pepper, chile pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add yellow cherry tomatoes at the end.
  6. While sauce is simmering, add pasta to the boiling water. Cook according to package directions.
  7. Warm the second loaf of bread in a preheated 325 degrees F oven.
  8. Drain pasta. Add pasta to sauce in pot. Toss thoroughly. Put pasta pot directly on the table, or transfer to a large pre-warmed serving bowl.
  9. Serve with Parmesan. Don't forget the bread in the oven!