Piquant Tomato Sauce

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Serves: 4


  • 1 lb dried pasta (strands or thin to medium ribbons)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatoes sliced into 6ths
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 sliced pitted black olives (kalamata or gaeta, or use an 8-oz can of drained sliced black olives)
  • 2 tsp capers (they say to rinse and drain but we just drain)
  • salt, black pepper
  • 1 handful torn fresh basil leaves, optional
  • additional extra virgin olive oil to toss


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, until firm to the bite.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a skillet.
  3. Add garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant, 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are sizzling hot but still retain their fresh flavor and bright color, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drain pasta and return to the pot.
  7. Toss pasta with tomatoes and basil (if using), adding 2 tablespoons of additional olive oil if needed.
  8. Serve immediately.


We make a variation on this with canned tomatoes (1 28-oz can or 2 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes) replacing the fresh tomatoes, and we usually only use 3 tablespoons of oil in the variation, although the original version with the fresh tomatoes is good with the extra oil. Sara 04:50, 15 January 2012 (UTC)