Hot Pasta, Cold Sauce

This time of year it’s way too hot to make a hot pasta and a hot sauce, but you don’t have to. While your pasta boils, mix a few flavorful ingredients. Think ricotta, Parmesan and garlic, freshly chopped tomatoes with canned tuna or white beans. It’s the best way I know to beat the heat…and enjoy a great meal.


Pasta and Broccoli with Creamy Ricotta Sauce
 
by:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 to 1½ pounds broccoli (1 large head), cut into small florets, stems peeled and sliced thin
  • 12 ounces bite-size pasta such as penne
  • Salt
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 3 ounces (about 6 slices) prosciutto, minced
  • 2 cups part-skim ricotta
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for passing
Instructions
  1. Prepare broccoli. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water and a generous sprinkling of salt to boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using back-of-the-box times as a guide, cook partially covered and stirring frequently at first to prevent sticking, until just tender. Add broccoli to the boiling pasta the last 5 minutes of cooking. Set colander over a large bowl and drain pasta, reserving cooking liquid; return pasta to the pot, stirring in garlic, basil, pepper, and prosciutto, until fragrant. Stir in ricotta, Parmesan, and enough hot pasta cooking liquid to form a creamy sauce. Serve, sprinkling each portion with extra Parmesan.

 
Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce with Tuna and Feta
 
by:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound vine-ripe tomatoes, cut into a small dice
  • Salt
  • 12 ounces bite-sized pasta, such as penne
  • 2 cans (5 ounces each) tuna packed in oil, not drained
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup capers
  • 4 ounces ( about 1 cup) crumbled feta, plus extra for passing
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. Prepare tomatoes and transfer to a medium bowl; sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water and a generous sprinkling of salt to boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using back-of-the-box times as a guide, cook partially covered and stirring frequently at first to prevent sticking, until just tender. Drain and return to pot.
  3. Add tuna, garlic, oregano, capers, feta, and parsley to tomatoes; toss to coat. Add tomato sauce to pasta; toss to coat again. Serve, sprinkling each portion with additional feta.

 
Pasta and Fresh Tomato Sauce with White Bean and Olives
 
by:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound vine-ripe tomatoes, cut into a small dice
  • Salt
  • 12 ounces bite-sized pasta, such as penne
  • 1 can (16 ounces) white beans
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for passing
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare tomatoes and transfer to a medium bowl; sprinkle lightly with salt.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water and a generous sprinkling of salt to boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using back-of-the-box times as a guide, cook partially covered and stirring frequently at first to prevent sticking, until just tender. Drain and return to pot.
  3. Add beans, garlic, cheese, basil, olives, and oil to tomatoes; toss to coat. Add tomato sauce to pasta; toss to coat again. Serve, sprinkling each portion with additional Parmesan.

 

12 Comments

  1. Sharon says

    I have requested some version of this for many a birthday dinner. Since my birthday is in July, tomatoes and other fresh ingredient abound. And there is something so satisfying about the way the hot pasta mixes with the cool sauce warming all the ingredients but leaving their fresh flavor and, of course, making the cheese all melty and delicious. Yum!

  2. Maggy says

    I love these recipes because they’re a great compromise. Cold pasta salad feels like a side dish or a picnic lunch, whereas hot pasta and sauce feels like a heavy winter warmer. This dish combines hot and cold, making it a perfect weeknight dinner this summer.

  3. Katie says

    I never liked cold summer pasta salads for dinner either. Something about cold pasta… These are a perfect blend of hot and cool and give me some good ideas for other combinations…

  4. says

    A great recipe and this time of year the tomatis are perfect for making a sauce with. We eat a great deal of fresh made tomato sauce – in fact we now use a tomato sauce maker or strainer. Never tried the olives – but will do this weekend.

  5. says

    I am partial to melting a softrind cheese into my hot pasta. There is a fabulous sheep’s milk camembert style cheese at my farmers market that works really well.

  6. P. Kay Hille-Hatten says

    Is the Pasta, tomatos, white beans & olives dish served hot or cold?

    Using it for a buffet this Sunday for a large group.

    Thanks Kay

    • Pam says

      When you toss the hot pasta with the cool sauce you get a dish that’s warm. It’s not really a pasta salad, so I would toss and serve. And if you’re not trying to save calories, drizzle in a little extra-virgin olive oil for something a little more special. Good luck with your party!

  7. Greg says

    I saw a video for your new book – somewhere… now I can’t find it – it looked like it was shot in the backyard of your home in New Hope area… can you post on this site? Looking forward to the new book! Greg

  8. PKH says

    Pasta, tomatoes white beans & olives. Took Sunday to a large outdoors family gathering. Tripled the recipe. Finished mixing (cooled pasta then mixed other goodies) at 10:30am didn’t get served until about 2:00pm (kept it in a box with ice packs) Everyone LOVED it. Thanks for a really good recipe. PKH

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