It’s Maine, so our tomato season is later than most, but they’re peaking at my farmers market right about now, so I’m going to line as many as I can upon my windowsills and hold onto summer for as long as humanly possible. This no-cook Mexican-inspired pasta sauce is a take-off on a famous recipe in the original “Silver Palate” cookbook that uses fresh tomatoes and brie.

Fusilli with Southwest Corn-and-Tomato Sauce

Enticing south-of-the-border ingredients – corn, jalapeños, cilantro, cumin, lime – make this tomato sauce sing with flavor. The ham is optional, making this dish a fine meatless main course if you prefer. If the fresh corn is very sweet and kernels very tender, you can use it raw, but if the kernels are larger and starchier, cook the ears before cutting the kernels off the cobs.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

6 large, ripe tomatoes

1 cup slivered or finely diced smoked ham, optional

¾ cup chopped red onion

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

2/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound fusilli or other similarly shaped pasta

2 cups corn kernels cut from about 3 ears corn

3 cups shredded Mexican 4-cheese blend

1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Core tomatoes and chop in rough ¾-inch chunks. Combine in a bowl with ham, red onion, jalapeño, oil, lime juice and cumin. Season generously with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Scoop out and reserve about ¾ cup of cooking water, then drain pasta into a colander. Return pasta to hot pot, add sauce, corn, cheese and cilantro and toss. Add a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin sauce if necessary. Serve immediately.

Classic Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

As with so many simple Italian recipes, this “insalata Caprese” – literally “salad from Capri” – depends utterly on the quality of the few ingredients. Of course it’s difficult (if not impossible) to get genuine Italian buffalo mozzarella, but a ball or log of good fresh American mozzarella, although lacking the distinctive lactic tang of the genuine article, works just fine.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

4 to 5 ripe tomatoes

8 ounces fresh mozzarella

About 16 whole basil leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Core tomatoes and slice about 1/3-inch thick. Slice mozzarella similarly.

On a rimmed platter, arrange tomatoes and cheese in an overlapping pattern and slide basil leaves in between. (Can be prepared up to an hour before serving and held at room temperature.)

Sprinkle generously with salt and lightly with pepper and drizzle with oil just before serving.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:

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