When you have time but no energy, make a largely hands-off tomato sauce that takes only patience: For Michael Guérard's Genius Sauce Vierge, all you have to do is chop some tomatoes, smash a couple garlic cloves, snip herbs, douse with olive oil and lemon juice, and wait.

When the tomatoes have turned to sauce, boil the pasta, toast the pine nuts, and slice the mozzarella. Mix it all together, add more basil and a splash of red wine vinegar, and you've got the flavors of a margarita pizza, pasta salad-style.

This salad is also a good home for cubed or shredded roasted or poached chicken and—bonus—will get even better over time.

You'll want to adjust the quantities of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil to your own linking—this is just a guideline.


One batch of Michael Guérard\'s Sauce Vierge (link in headnote)
1 pound bow tie (farfalle) pasta, cooked to al dente and drained well
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced or cubed
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 splash red wine vinegar, or more to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Fresh basil, for garnishing


Step 1
When your sauce is ready and your pasta is cooked and drained, mix together all of the ingredients, adjusting the vinegar and the black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil.

Step 2
Store any leftover Sauce Vierge in the fridge for 2 to 3 days—spoon it over grilled or toasted bread, roasted chicken, or even seared fish or sautéed shrimp.