Skip to content

Strong Summer Sauce

August 15, 2012

Strong Summer Saucehas been one of my favorite recipes for many years. The ingredients that make it a “strong” sauce are garlic, olives, capers, red chile pepper flakes, and anchovies.  It’s reminiscent of a Puttanesca sauce, but this is a raw sauce – perfect for a quick summertime meal.

The original recipe is from Viana La Place & Evan Kleiman’s Pasta Fresca. They actually have a whole chapter called “Pasta with Raw Sauces”, but I’ve never gotten past the Strong Summer Sauce. (Note to self: Check out some of the other raw sauces this summer.)

Don’t be put off by the anchovies. They are minced and blended in to the sauce. No one will even know they are there, but they do add a lot of umami goodness.

I was not able to score perfect tomatoes. I used supermarket tomatoes. The sauce was still good, but great home-grown tomatoes definitely take this recipe to another level.

If you have access to wonderful ripe summer tomatoes, do try this Strong Summer Sauce tossed with your favorite pasta. Delizioso!


Orecchiette with Strong Summer Sauce


Strong Summer Sauce

(Adapted from Viana La Place & Evan Kleiman’s recipe in Pasta Fresca)


(print the recipe)


Serves 3 – 4 (doubles easily to serve 4 – 6)


1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice* (see note below)

2 anchovies, minced

¼ cup pitted oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (I used kalamata olives.)

1½ tablespoons small capers

½ bunch Italian parsley, leaves chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

¼ teaspoon red chile pepper flakes

Salt to taste

¼ cup olive oil

½ pound orecchiette (Cavatappi, campanelle, or any pasta you like to use for chunky sauces would also work.)

Freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (Optional)


Some of the ingredients in Strong Summer Sauce


1. Stir the tomatoes, minced anchovies, black olives, capers, parsley, garlic and red chile pepper flakes together in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes.



2. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste, if needed.

3. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Toss the pasta with the sauce.

4. Top with grated cheese, if desired.


I used a vegetable peeler to add a bit of Pecorino Romano cheese.


*To easy peel and seed the tomatoes, bring a pot of water to a boil. Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 20 seconds. Remove. The skin will peel right off. Cut the tomatoes in half, and scoop out the seeds. I find it easiest to use my fingers.


9 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    August 15, 2012 4:49 pm


  2. August 16, 2012 11:45 am

    I can see why you have been using it for years! I love a good sauce and this has all the “right” ingredients. Bring on the garlic and capers!

    • August 16, 2012 11:50 am

      I totally agree, Monet! Normally, I’m one to use more than one clove of garlic. In this recipe, however, since the garlic is raw, one clove seems right. It’s garlicky, but the garlic doesn’t compete with the other strong flavors.

  3. August 16, 2012 1:35 pm

    Sounds delish Kath!! Yum!

  4. August 17, 2012 8:04 pm

    Okay I’m totally not the person to ask about this. But I was trying to move you to my google reader and it says, “oops, can’t find the find”. Just thought maybe you have something on your dashboard unchecked. My all time favorite a garlic pasta dish. My favorite thing about summer too. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • August 18, 2012 8:13 am

      Hmm…Thanks for letting me know, Gina. I’m not quite sure what to do about it. I’ll see if I can figure it out.

  5. August 17, 2012 8:05 pm

    Feed, lol. Damn typos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: