Spaghetti No-Knife #ImprovCookingChallenge

by Liz Berg on September 19, 2013

Spaghetti_No-Knife (2)Spaghetti_No-Knife (3)

For over a decade, I’ve been making this simple pasta recipe when the garden is bursting with ripe red tomatoes and a plethora of fresh herbs. The original recipe called for raw garlic, which can be a bit sharp and off putting, so this go around, I went with a roasted version for a mellower flavor. Use the amounts as a guideline…I tend to add more mozzarella and tomatoes compared to the pasta. A perfect entree for those days when it is too darn hot to turn on the oven (do your garlic roasting early in the day). I had a box of Dreamfields Angel Hair pasta left from a food blogger conference, so I decided to test out this “Healthy Carb Living” option. It has a lower glycemic index and higher fiber than your traditional pastas…and though I’ve been chicken to try it, this pasta was terrific! Of course, this is perfectly delicious with any pasta you happen to have in your pantry.

September’s Improv Challenge, hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, features Pasta and Cheese. Check out the linky tool below for all sorts of marvelous pasta dishes from my Improv friends. I am currently in Seattle at the IFBC so I hope to visit everyone upon my return.

Spaghetti No-Knife


    Adapted from Martha Stewarg
  • 1 pound pasta, I used spaghetti
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 medium tomatoes (about 2 pounds) cored and torn (or cut) into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely torn oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup torn (or thinly sliced) basil leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 roasted garlic cloves, chopped (place head of garlic in foil with top trimmed off, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, seal foil and roast at 400ยบ for about 30 minutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2+ pound fresh mozzarella, torn (or cut) into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package instructions
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil, oregano, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
  3. Drain spaghetti iand add to tomato mixture. Add mozzarella and toss to combine. Garnish with basil and serve.
  4. Yield: 4 servings
    Total time: 30 minutes without extended marinating time
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

steph@stephsbitebybite September 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

This sounds so yummy! Love that it’s not drenched in tomato sauce!


Melody September 19, 2013 at 10:17 am

oh! oh! OH! I luvs me some roasted garlic! Your pasta sounds/looks like the very best kind of Caprese salad.


Shashi September 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

Love this challenge – love this spaghetti!


Happier Than A Pig in Mud September 19, 2013 at 10:26 am

Sounds like a great meal and one we need to make soon, before the tomatoes are gone! Enjoy:@)
PS-I see the pic of your pup in the Green Bay jersey… too cute!


Deanna Segrave-Daly September 19, 2013 at 10:29 am

Oh yum! I swear a make a version of this pasta at least twice a week all summer long – my ultimate comfort food. Great recipe title :)


Blackswan September 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

I’ve enjoyed the pasta round-up! Gives me more ideas to play with it. Isn’t it nice to grow your own veggies & cook with them?


cquek September 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm

It looks so inviting


Dionne Baldwin September 19, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Have fun in Seattle!!! I love improv cooking. :-) We do that almost daily here! I just love pasta and it doesn’t matter the season. I hope the farm still has those big tomatoes so I can try this. I hope you are having a good week.


Kristen September 19, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I hope you have a wonderful time in Seattle! Your spaghetti dish looks so pretty with the fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. Nothing beats fresh!


Amy @ Elephant Eats September 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm

This sounds delicious! just curious, did you really not use a knife? ;)


Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 19, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Gorgeous summery pasta, perfect for tomato season!


Abbe@This is How I Cook September 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

One of my favorite pasta recipes! Have a great conference!


The Ninja Baker September 19, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Slurping up those noodles with those luscious looking tomatoes is my idea of fun! And good eating =) Enjoy the IBFC, Liz!


Emily @ Life on Food September 19, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Such classic flavors that I love…garlic, tomatoes, and basil. Nice call on the roasted garlic. I find the roasting to make much sweeter and more delightful.


Karen - Cinnamon Freud September 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm

This pasta looks so fresh and Delicious!


Jenn and Seth September 19, 2013 at 11:37 pm

I love that you roasted the garlic! This pasta sounds wonderful – so fresh and delicious!


Hotly Spiced September 19, 2013 at 11:58 pm

I love how you grow your own tomatoes. I agree that raw garlic can be a bit much – and then there’s what it does to your breath! This is a lovely, easy and simple family meal and I love angel’s hair pasta xx


Angie@Angie's Recipes September 20, 2013 at 6:37 am

So fresh and delicious!


Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons September 20, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Love this improv challenge – I need to get into this group. This recipe looks delicious, Liz!


Dedy@Dentist Chef September 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

Wow, this simple pasta turned into a fancy colorfull dish..
leve it from the very beginning!


Jennifer Eloff September 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Roasted garlic tastes so sweet! This is a pretty dish!


Annamaria @ Bakewell Junction September 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I prefer the roasted garlic too. Raw garlic is too strong for me. Hope you’re enjoying the conference. Maybe some day I’ll get to go to a blogging conference.


Ramona September 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Beautiful pasta! I love roasted garlic.. I bet it added a wonderful flavor. :)


Suzanne Perazzini September 22, 2013 at 1:44 am

I love pasta with really simple clean ingredients like these. I wish fresh mozzarella wasn’t so expensive here.


Cookaholic Wife September 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Yum! This looks so fresh and delicious!


mjskit September 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Definitely my kind of pasta dish – easy and so flavorful! A great way to hang on to those summer tomatoes.


Kate | Food Babbles September 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

The title of this post immediately intrigued me and after reading, I just love it! It really is a “no knife” pasta dish. Love how everything is rustically torn and the ease of preparation of this dish. It sounds so fresh and flavorful. Definitely saving this to make tomorrow! A friend of mine today gave me 3 pounds of tomatoes from her garden and I was wondering what I would make with all those red beauties. Now I know!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: