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Sauce vierge, named after England's Queen Elizabeth I (also known as the Virgin Queen), is a fresh chopped tomato sauce with roots in southwestern France. Whether referred to as "virgin" due to being uncooked or because of the addition of extra virgin olive oil, this sauce is a wonderful example of how minimal preparation and perfect seasoning allow seasonal ingredients to shine. Briny capers, sweet shallots and fragrant lemon zest pair together to add bright complexity to acidic, sun-kissed tomatoes. Seek out very ripe, juicy tomatoes for the best flavor in this summery sauce. Try it spooned over grilled fish or simply scooped up with warm, crusty bread.

July 2022


Credit: Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Recipe Summary

30 mins
1 hr 45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together tomatoes, oil, shallot, capers, garlic, coriander, lemon zest and juice, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large heatproof serving bowl until well combined; let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high. Add linguine; cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until linguine is al dente and shrimp are just cooked through, about 4 minutes.

  • Drain pasta-shrimp mixture; immediately add to tomato mixture in bowl. Vigorously toss to coat well. Fold in chives and basil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Serve, passing Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Brisk Italian white: Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Vermentino