Doing good things with tomatoes more than makes up for the indignities of deep summer's bug bites and higher utility bills. At the top of my list these days is the coarse chop of uncooked tomatoes paired with pasta that can cradle their juicy chunks.

And the good things call for such tomatoes to be deftly handled, for as perfect as big, red, ripe, round summer tomatoes are, they taste even sweeter when unencumbered by peels and seeds. There are simple methods for dispatching both. The results will get you more than halfway through the following recipes, any of which can be composed in about the time it'll take you to search the Web for the 111-year-old reason why the "tomato: fruit or vegetable?" conundrum remains. (Hint: The U.S. Supreme Court is involved.)

To loosen the skin of a tomato, all it takes is a fast dunk in boiling water, followed by a dip in an ice-water bath. About five seconds in each type of water should do the trick.

Then make a tiny incision in the skin with the tip of a paring knife. Using your fingers, peel the skin away from this cut. The skin should slip right off.

Using a knife, remove the core, then remove the seeds with the rounded peak of a small spoon or a flick of the wrist and cut the tomato into chunks.

Pasta With Tomatoes and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

4 to 6 servings

This otherwise uncooked tomato sauce takes on a charred flavor from roasted red bell peppers. Serve hot or cold.

2 red bell peppers

8 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound dried pasta, preferably shells (conchiglie), snails (lumache), gnocchi or twins (gemelli)

5 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (or substitute 11/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaf)

10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler and line a broiler pan with aluminum foil.

Broil the peppers on all sides, turning as necessary, until blackened and blistered. Wrap the peppers in aluminum foil and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel, core and seed the peppers. Cut the flesh into strips, place in a medium nonreactive bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil, vinegar and 6 tablespoons of the remaining oil to the peppers, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss gently.

Drain the pasta and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the tomato mixture and toss gently to combine. Taste and, if desired, adjust the amounts of salt, pepper, oil and/or vinegar accordingly. Serve immediately.

(To serve cold, drizzle the drained, hot pasta with an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil, toss to combine, cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and serve immediately.)

Per serving (based on 6): 497 calories, 11 gm protein, 64 gm carbohydrates, 22 gm fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 15 gm saturated fat, 64 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber

Herbed Tomato, Mozzarella and Pasta Salad

4 to 6 servings

The amount of garlic to use in this recipe is really a personal preference. You don't want it to overwhelm the mozzarella. So start with the minimum and add as you see fit.

5 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (or substitute 11/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved)

2 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaf)

10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

10 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into narrow slices and halved or into chunks

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, preferably shells (conchiglie), snails (lumache), gnocchi or twins (gemelli)

In a medium nonreactive bowl, gently toss the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil, thyme, oil, vinegar and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot or place in a serving bowl. Spoon the tomato and cheese mixture over the pasta and toss gently to combine. Taste and, if desired, adjust the amounts of salt, pepper, oil and/or vinegar accordingly. Serve immediately.

(To serve cold, drizzle the drained, hot pasta with an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil, toss to combine, cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and serve immediately.)

Per serving (based on 6): 618 calories, 20 gm protein, 63 gm carbohydrates, 32 gm fat, 37 mg cholesterol, 9 gm saturated fat, 238 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

Garlicky Tomato and Arugula Pasta Toss

4 to 6 servings

This colorful pasta dish is an adaptation of a classic summer salad.

1/2 cup olive oil

8 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered

5 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (or substitute 11/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved)

1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaf)

10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, preferably shells (conchiglie), snails (lumache), gnocchi or twins (gemelli)

1 large bunch arugula, washed well, spun-dried, trimmed

In a small pan over low heat, heat the oil and garlic until the garlic has softened a little and begins to release its aroma, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn. Remove from the heat; set aside to cool to room temperature. (Use the oil within a couple of hours; do not store it either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.)

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, parsley, basil and vinegar. Add the cooled garlic oil and the garlic slivers to the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine. Set aside to allow the flavors to meld.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Drain the pasta, add it to the tomato mixture and toss gently to coat. Add the arugula and toss again (the leaves will wilt slightly). Taste and, if desired, adjust the salt, pepper, oil and/or vinegar accordingly. Serve immediately.

(To serve cold, toss the hot pasta with an additional 1 tablespoon olive oil, cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Toss the tomato mixture with the arugula and pasta and serve immediately.)

Per serving (based on 6): 475 calories, 11 gm protein, 63 gm carbohydrates, 20 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 68 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

Pasta With Tomato, Corn, Red Onion and Herbs

4 to 6 servings

The fresh mint, sweet corn and crunchy red onion create contrasting textures and flavors in this summery pasta salad. For a less assertive flavor, substitute basil for mint.

3 ears white corn

8 tablespoons olive oil

5 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (or substitute 11/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved)

1 small red onion, peeled, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaf)

12 to 24 fresh mint leaves, torn into pieces 6 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, preferably shells (conchiglie), snails (lumache), gnocchi or twins (gemelli)

Preheat the broiler. Line the broiler pan with foil.

Rub the corn on the cob with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Broil the corn, using tongs to turn the ears as necessary, until lightly charred on all sides. Set the corn aside until cool enough to handle. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob.

In a large nonreactive bowl, gently toss together the corn kernels, tomatoes, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, 6 tablespoons of oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and toss gently to coat. Spoon the tomato mixture over the top and toss gently to combine. Taste and, if desired, adjust the salt, pepper, oil and/or vinegar accordingly. Serve immediately.

(To serve cold, toss the hot pasta with an additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate. Toss the pasta with the corn and tomato mixture and serve immediately.)

Per serving (based on 6): 653 calories, 12 gm protein, 72 gm carbohydrates, 36 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 gm saturated fat, 71 mg sodium, 5 gm dietary fiber

Cold Pasta Salad With Olives, Tomatoes and Capers

4 to 6 servings

This somewhat earthy pasta salad is best served chilled.

5 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (or substitute 11/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaf)

6 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces

Leaves from 4 small sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/3 cup pitted and coarsely chopped oil-cured black olives

11/2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, drained and patted dry on paper towels

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, preferably shells (conchiglie), snails (lumache), gnocchi or twins (gemelli)

In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, parsley, basil, thyme leaves, 1/2 cup oil, vinegar, olives, capers and pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and transfer to a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of oil, cover and refrigerate until chilled through.

Turn the pasta into the tomato mixture and toss gently to combine. Taste and, if desired, season with salt, pepper, oil and/or vinegar.

Per serving (based on 6): 504 calories, 11 gm protein, 63 gm carbohydrates, 23 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 227 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

Lisa Yockelson is the author of "Baking by Flavor" (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002).

IT'LL BOWL YOU OVER: Herbed Tomato, Mozzarella and Pasta Salad Page 2Herbed Tomato, Mozzarella and Pasta Salad.