Spaghetti No-Knife #ImprovCookingChallenge

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For over a decade, I’ve been making this simple Spaghetti No-Knife 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 400º 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.

Yield: 4 servings

    Total time: 30 minutes without extended marinating time


      Nutrition Facts
      Serving Size
      Amount Per Serving As Served
      Calories 3222kcal Calories from fat 1286
      % Daily Value
      Total Fat 143g 220%
      Saturated Fat 32g 160%
      Cholesterol 88mg 29%
      Sodium 785mg 33%
      Carbohydrate 397g 132%
      Dietary Fiber 35g 140%
      Sugars 38g
      Protein 95g

      Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

      Calories 2000
      Total Fat Less than 65g
      Sat Fat Less than 25g
      Cholesterol Less than 300mg
      Sodium Less than 2,400mg
      Total Carbohydrate 300g
      Dietary Fiber 25g
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      1. steph@stephsbitebybite says:

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

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

      3. Love this challenge – love this spaghetti!

      4. 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!

      5. 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 🙂

      6. 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?

      7. It looks so inviting

      8. 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.

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

      10. This sounds delicious! just curious, did you really not use a knife? 😉

      11. Gorgeous summery pasta, perfect for tomato season!

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

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

      14. 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.

      15. This pasta looks so fresh and Delicious!

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

      17. Hotly Spiced says:

        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

      18. So fresh and delicious!

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

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

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

      22. Lizzy,
        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.

      23. Beautiful pasta! I love roasted garlic.. I bet it added a wonderful flavor. 🙂

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

      25. Yum! This looks so fresh and delicious!

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

      27. 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!

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