• 12 large ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced into thin strips
  • 3 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly milled black pepper
  • 1 lb fusilli (twists)
  • Freshly grated Romano cheese

Fusilli con Pomodoro e Olive

The sparkling flavor of tomatoes marinated with Gaeta olives makes this uncooked sauce quite zesty. A great summer pasta, and wonderful for a buffet. One of my favorite Italian dishes!


1 – Blanch fresh tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water. Peel skins with a small paring knife. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise. Squeeze each half and discard all of the seeds. Slice into 1/4-inch strips, place in strainer set over a bowl and reserve juice.

2 – In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, olives, basil, parsley, 1 tsp salt and pepper; mix well with wooden spoon. Transfer to a 1 1/2 quart jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate sauce for at least 6 hours or overnight, turning jar 3 to 4 times so that tomatoes will be well coated with marinade. Pour reserved juice into a small jar, cover and refrigerate.

3 – Remove sauce and reserved juice from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours before serving. Discard garlic from sauce just before tossing with pasta.

4 – Cook pasta in 6 quarts boiling water with 1 tbsp salt until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander, transfer to a bowl containing 1 tbsp olive oil and toss quickly. Toss pasta with 3/4 of the sauce. If pasta is a little dry when tossing, add about 1/2 cup of the reserved juice to moisten. Spoon remaining sauce on top and serve with freshly grated Romano cheese.

Serves 4 to 6