Similarly, some of the most delicious pasta sauces are also the easiest. Here are four of my favorites that require little or no cooking.
Cheese & Pepper “Sauce”
If you’ve ever been to Rome, you have seen cacio e pepe on most Roman menus. It simply means “cheese and pepper.” Only four ingredients are required — spaghetti, olive oil, pepper and pecorino cheese — but it is a beloved dish in Italy. Because there are so few ingredients, make sure you buy good pecorino, good olive oil and use freshly ground pepper.
The second pasta sauce is truly a no-cook one: a delicious sun-dried tomato sauce with garlic and basil. This is my go-to sauce when I’m pressed for time, I have nothing defrosted or it’s too hot to cook. Boiling the pasta is the only cooking required. It’s one of my husband’s favorites, and the only downside is that he knows how easy it is! If you have a food processor, simply add all the ingredients and give it a whirl. Your sauce is done!
Roasted Pepper Pesto Sauce
This kind of pasta sauce is one of my favorites, because it requires no cooking on top of the stove. It’s a roasted pepper pesto sauce. I roast the peppers sometime during the day, and when it’s time to boil the pasta for dinner, I just whirl all the sauce ingredients together in the food processor. It couldn’t be faster. The heat from the pasta and a little of the hot pasta water combine to create a no-cook sauce. Consider this a sort of “master recipe” for your imagination. You can make all kinds of great no-cook sauces in your food processor.
Two Tomato Sauce
This last pasta sauce uses fresh basil, mozzarella and two kinds of tomatoes — one roasted and one fresh. Slow roasting the tomatoes is super easy and well worth it; they add depth of flavor to the sauce and complement the fresh tomatoes.