Spaghetti with Summer Sauce

This is a no-cook pasta sauce that is so quick and easy for those hot summer days.  My Dad made this for us when we were kids.  I have no idea how closely this mirrors what he used to make for us, but it’s how I make it and we all like it.  The longer you allow it to sit and have the flavours mingle the better, but allow a minimum of at least 1 hour.  We will have this with some grilled Italian sausage on the side to get some protein in, but you can easily use chicken too.  Or, if you want to keep it vegan or vegetarian, add some chickpeas to the sauce when you first mix it up to allow them to absorb the garlicky-herby flavours of the ingredients.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

No-Cook Time: at least 1 hour

Serves: 4-6 people


  • 2 14-oz cans of small cut diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6-8 leaves of fresh Basil, cut into very thin ribbons
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 box spaghetti or spaghettini


  1. Put tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and basil in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Allow to sit for at least 1 hour for flavours to develop and mingle.
  2. Put water on to boil.  Cook pasta according to directions.  Toss cooked pasta in butter to coat noodles and top with Summer Sauce.


  • Add red  pepper flakes if you want it to have a bit of bite.
  • For an extra easy sauce you can buy diced tomatoes already flavoured with garlic and olive oil.  Just add your other flavourings and allow to sit.  Beware of sodium content when you’re buying pre-flavoured products.
  • Use leftover sauce for bruschetta or as pizza sauce.  I often work pizza into the meal plan when we have this dish because it is so much better than commercial pizza sauce.
  • I recommend tossing the noodles in butter because it makes them taste buttery (of course!), but also the butter helps the sauce stick to the noodles.  If you want to make this a vegan dish you can either leave the noodles plain or toss them in olive oil for flavour.  Don’t use too much oil, though because that will make the sauce slide right off them.
  • As I mentioned above, if youre making this dish vegetarian/vegan but you want a good protein ingredient, add in a can of chickpeas.
  • Finally, if you happen to have a side burner on your grill, boil your pasta outside so you don’t steam up the kitchen.  We do this because a steamy kitchen sort of defeats the purpose of a no-cook sauce, even though it still beats cooking your sauce down for hours in the summer.

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