Pasta with Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

Jump to RecipeLeave a Comment

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Chopped fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic, then mix together with good quality olive oil then toss with pasta and Mangia!  

In Italian “salsa fresca” means fresh tomato sauce. This is an easy summer recipe you will make every season with any variety of your fresh garden tomatoes. The juicy ripe tomatoes get a bath in luxurious olive oil, basil  and garlic creating the most delicious sauce to coat your pasta. Enjoy this dish warm or cold. It’s one of those recipes that tastes even better the next day. This meal comes together quickly and makes for an easy and tasty summer dinner recipe.

I call this sauce- “KISS”.  Keep It Simple Sauce. Let the fragrant flavors of the fresh quality ingredients shine without over seasoning or over doing. That is the beauty of simple, rustic, and fresh, Italian recipes. Once you try it you will kiss this “KISS” sauce too! Enjoy! 

tomato, summer, fresh tomato, salsa fresca, fresh tomato salsa, easy, delicious Italian recipes

What can I do with all my garden tomatoes?

Make this fresh and authentic Italian Salsa Fresca! It is fresh, light, and bright. Perfect for summer and early fall with all the vine ripe tomatoes. This dish is the bright colors of Italy in a bowl!

What tomatoes are BEST for Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)?

Any ripe, fragrant, juicy tomato will do for this recipe. The juices of the tomatoes will create a delicious sauce when mixed with the olive oil. It is a simple meal that requires only a few ingredients to let the fresh in season tomatoes shine. 

Some TOMATO varieties are listed:

  • Roma
  • Cherry tomatoes of any kind (simply cut in half)
  • Beefsteak
  • Plum
  • Campari

Really, any tomatoes that are ripe, sweet, and not mushy or tasteless :).

Great Basic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for This Recipe COLAVITA

tomato, summer, fresh tomato, salsa fresca, fresh tomato salsa, easy, delicious Italian recipes
Salsa Fresca Story (fresh tomato sauce) 

The photo at the bottom of this post is of me eating one of my favorite simple summer pasta dishes- pasta con salsa fresca. We have it for lunch weekly at the beach house in Italy. The sauce takes minutes to prepare and we let it sit and marinade while we are at the beach then toss it with hot pasta when we come home. I am laughing while I eat. I love it. I love the pasta and I love this moment. This describes the many moments at our family table in Italy- years and years on repeat. We eat. We discuss. We share. We yell (it’s the Italian way of “talking” when passionate- it took my husband years to understand this). We eat. We laugh. We love. That’s it. Mangia. Mangia. Life is short and we only have so much we can eat every day. Make it worth your time.

If you make this recipe please write a comment to tell me your thoughts! I want to connect with all of you through your experience with my recipes.

Love, Elena

From my Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

Made with Amore, Elena

More Recipes for YOU

Baked Zucchini and Tomatoes Bruschetta

Italian Stuffed Zucchini (Twice Baked Zucchini)

Sautéed Zucchini and Onion (Italian Recipe)

Paccheri Pasta with Zucchini, Fresh Tomatoes, and Creme Fraiche

Italian Style Pasta Salad Recipe (with Arugula)

Penne Pasta and Peas Recipe with Mascarpone

Smoked Salmon, Mascarpone, and Petite Pea Pasta

One Pot Pasta Recipe- Asparagus Ricotta Lemon

Orzo Pasta with Shrimp, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Artichokes

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
pasta with fresh tomatoes in a red bowl

Pasta with Salsa Fresca (fresh tomato sauce)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 pints (560 grams) tomatoes (cherry, roma, garden, or heirloom variety), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn by hand
  • 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1 package (454 grams) good quality pasta
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Salt for cooking pasta


  1. In a large serving bowl combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil. Stir to combine, Cover with plastic wrap and leave on the counter for 30 min and up to 2 hour.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to salted water to boil. Salt pasta water generously (about 10 grams of salt per liter of water). Cook pasta according to package until ‘al dente’. Add salt and pepper to the tomatoes right before serving.
  3. Drain pasta and toss with the marinated tomatoes. Serve warm or cold. Great as leftovers!
  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min (+1 hour marinade time) )
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

You May Also Like

About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. This is delicious and lovely. I never Would have imagined that these simple ingredients marred together could change sauce as I knew It. I let mine sit for 2 hours and I think that’s when the magic happened. Love it!!!

  2. This is an easy delicious meal when I want something light and easy. It takes no time at all. I like this one especially in the summer!