Pasta Alla Checca

Easy pasta dish with fresh tomatoes.

2-4 servings

Time: 15 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

This is one of our family favorite pasta recipes from Guiliano Hazan's The Classic Pasta Cookbook. It takes about 20 minutes since the sauce is uncooked except for blooming the tomatoes and herbs in hot olive oil. Check out the original video for more context.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Pasta noodles

    • spaghetti
      227 g 1/2 lb
    • water
    • salt
      a sprinkle
  • The sauce

    • tomatoes
      , assorted & ripe
      454 g1 lb
    • fresh mozzarella
      113 g1/4 lb
    • olive oil
      45 g
    • fresh basil
      , torn
      10 leaves
    • fresh oregano
      , chopped
      a spoonful
    • fresh thyme
      , chopped
      a spoonful
    • salt
      to taste
    • black pepper
      a sprinkle


Step 1: Boil the noodles

Set a pot of water to along with a generous sprinkle of salt. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, or 1 minute less than the package instructions recommend.

Step 2: Prepare the sauce

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the bowl where you will be serving the pasta. Sprinkle some salt over the tomatoes, add the oregano and thyme, and mix everything together.

  • If you can't find a fresh version of these, dried works well here since they'll rehydrate in the sauce.

Add the olive oil to a small pan and set it over medium heat.

After a few minutes of salting time, pour off the excess liquid from the tomatoes. Add the torn basil leaves and a few sprinkles of black pepper.

Remove the oil from the heat as soon as it starts to smoke. Pour the hot olive oil over the ingredients to their flavors, then mix thoroughly.

Step 3: Toss the pasta & serve

Once the pasta is done, save a little bit of the pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta and add it to the bowl of tomatoes. Toss until combined (add a little bit of the pasta water if needed). Taste and adjust with salt, if needed.

Lastly, toss in the mozzarella balls, cover the bowl for 1 minute (to allow them to melt a bit before serving), then serve immediately.



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