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Spaghetti alla Checca

Spaghetti alla Checca

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Jessica Chou

Spaghetti alla Checca

This fresh, easy pasta is amazing in the summer, with the classic combination of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in an uncooked sauce. But it can easily be made year-round to enjoy that same garlicky taste.

See all tomato recipes.


If you're not a big garlic fan, you can simply rub the mixing and serving bowl with some raw garlic to get just a hint of the flavor.

If you don't have cherry tomatoes, feel free to dice any other tomatoes you may have.


  • 8 ounces thin spaghetti
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes (or 1/2 pint), halved
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cubed into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 leaves basil, torn
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

Pasta Alla Checca

Pasta alla checca is a simple, yet delicious pasta dish made with fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil and mozzarella. What makes this dish stand out is its simplicity. The dish is so easy to make that the only cooking time you need is when cooking pasta. The rest is super easy.

You might have tried several pasta dishes, but have you ever come across a cold pasta dish that is just as juicy and comforting as a regular pasta recipe? If not, you are in luck because this pasta alla checca is not just flavorful but is a perfect cold dish for any summer meals.

I haven’t found a dish more versatile than this. You can literally eat it whenever you want. Whether it is lunch, dinner, evening, or midnight snacks, this dish works perfectly for every occasion.

Spaghettini with Checca Sauce

Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Giada is a chef, mother, author and restauranteur. She is known as the Emmy-award winning television personality of Food Network’s Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, Giada In Italy, as a judge on Food Network Star, NBC Today Show correspondent, for her eight New York Times best-selling cookbooks and her debut restaurant, GIADA, in Las Vegas. Though most days, you can find her in Los Angeles with her daughter, Jade and kitten, Bella, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen involving parmiggiano reggiano or her weakness, dark chocolate!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Adjust the racks so one is on the lower third and the second is on the upper third.

Dust the counter with flour. Working one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a 9 inch round, about 1/4 inch thick, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. On one half of the round closest to you, spread 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese leaving an inch rim around the outside.

Sprinkle the cheese with 1/4 teaspoon oregano and an 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spoon 2 tablespoons of checca down the center of the ricotta. Sprinkle with half of the pepperoni and half of the mozzarella cheese. Fold the top part of the dough over the filling. Use a little water along the edge to seal the dough together.

Beginning at one corner, fold the dough over itself and continue to do so until reaching the other corner, pressing down after each fold to secure. This will make a decorative rope effect. Alternatively, you can use the tines of a fork to gently press and seal. Place the calzone on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Using a sharp knife, make three slits in the top of each calzone. Brush evenly with the olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the parmesan cheese. Place the tray on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Rotate the tray to the top rack and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Remove to a wire rack and allow the calzone to cool for 5 minutes before serving with additional checca for dipping!

Pasta alla checca (pasta with fresh tomatoes) – Lazio

  • 500 grams tomatoes, ripe but not mushy, rinsed, stem removed and cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, skin removed
  • 2 sprigs basil, rinsed, dried, leaves removed and finely sliced
  • 100 mls extra-virgin olive oil
  • 350 grams spaghetti
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  1. Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil, 75 mls olive oil and a large pinch of both salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the ingredients together, cover the bowl and let sit for at least an hour or up to 6 hours (if you are in a hurry, then you don't need to let it sit).
  3. Add 6 litres of water and 60 grams of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the water and stir to ensure it is not sticking together.
  4. Place the bowl of tomatoes on top of the pot of water while the pasta cooks.Cook for the time indicated on the pasta packaging.
  5. Add the pasta to the tomatoes and stir to mix.
  6. Divide into 4 bowls and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Serve.

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Pasta Alla Checca

Being Italian, there’s nothing more satisfying to me than a good plate of pasta. Since my tomatoes and basil are growing well and producing, it just made sense to make this dish.
Sometimes I will add capers, olives, mushrooms, etc. but today I’m just keeping it simple.

1/2 lb. Angel Hair Pasta (cooked according to package direction)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10 cloves of Garlic, chopped
3 to 4 large Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh Basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Crushed Red Pepper, if desired
1/2 lb. Angel Hair Pasta
Parmesan Reggiano, grated

Saute the garlic

Fill a large pot with salted water and put over medium high heat (for pasta).

In a medium pot add the olive oil and garlic, over medium heat.

Cook for a minute or so, until the garlic is soft.

Add in the chopped tomatoes

Add in the tomato and cook for a few minutes more.

Cook pasta according to package directions, but do not drain from water.

Using a pasta fork remove all the pasta from water and put directly into tomato pot.

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I love Pasta a la Checca, especially with my home grown heirlooms. Instead of cherry tomatoes, I used my own Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and peeled. The sauce is not watery because the seeds have been removed. Plum tomatoes are very meaty, perfect for this recipe. I didn't have any arugula, so I used lots of fresh basil and tossed with dried red pepper for a kick and some pericino romano cheese. I like the feta & olive suggestion and I'll try the arugula next time.

This is an incredibly easy and tasty recipe. Nothing fancy but for a quick dinner (that included a guest that eats a vegan diet)it was perfect. As others recommended I added some basil to taste, with bowls of sliced kalamata olives and feta on the side to sprinkle on if desired. I also increased the arugula to two cups. I used spiral pasta not spaghetti. A definate keeper for nights when I don't want to spend much time cooking.

I thought (just being honest) that the tomato jucie from the tomatoes made the pasta a little runny. The juice wouldn't stick to the pasta and is like water (thin). It was OK nothing special AT ALL. Sure it was a quick dinner, but it isn't the best. (make something else!)

Delicious and easy with fresh ingredients, though agree that it needed a little something more than the recipe calls for. Used a sliced up regular tomato and arugula from our CSA. Took the recommendation of adding feta cheese and some cut up kalamata olives. Also sauted some fresh red peppers in garlic and added that to the mix (rather than using raw garlic with the tomatoes). Was a great hit.

This is a really good pasta salad. Which is essentially what it is. Ofcourse, for me it was a little too bland, so adding goat cheese crumbles were good with it or feta. Kalamata olives are also delicious. Very fresh and easy.

Made this with cherry tomatoes from the garden, double the arugula, and some fresh basil leaves thrown in for good measure. Excellent flavors and a great way to use up the garden bounty. A definite keeper.

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This is definitely for those unafraid of a lot of garlic! Served it over whole wheat pasta, and a little goes a long way since it does have a lot of oil. Used grated Asiago cheese in it.

Very nice. I used angel hair. which I wouldn't really recommend, as there just isn't enough sauce to cover that much surface. Perhaps some spaghetti or penne next time. What really made this dish amazing, though, was using it for bruschetta! I spread a little on some bread with mushrooms and topped with parmesan. it was perfect!

This is addictive! I let the mixture sit on my counter the full 10 hours. The hot pasta (I used mini penne) mellows the garlic just enough. Very refreshing, and super simple to make (and eat!!). Also good reheated.

This recipe was perfect for the fresh tomatoes I picked out of my garden. I didn't have time to let the sauce 'sit' and it still tasted great. I did slightly alter the recipe. I used penne for my pasta, reduced the the garlic to 1 clove and added 1/2 lb boiled shrimp to the finished product -- which helped to make it a bit more hearty for my family.


Put the roasted tomatoes (view recipe) in the mixer and mix until smooth texture. Transfer in a bowl.

Fill a large pot with water, bring to boil. When water boiling, add salt and paste and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes or depending in the instructions on the box.

Meanwhile, cut the mozzarella in small cube, transfer in a plate and drizzle with some olive oil, set aside.

In a medium pan, heat the sauce cherry tomato sauce about 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat. When ready add drained paste directly to the pan with parmesan and mozzarella, keep some for decoration. Mix well.

Transfer in a service bowl, add the rest of the mozzarella, garnish with fresh basil and serve right away.