Monday, August 29, 2011
The end of summer is the perfect time to indulge in some homemade, from-scratch tomato sauce. Tomatoes are at their peak, so I decided I needed to share this amazing Pomodoro recipe from my Auntie Franca with you. Luckily, Smitten Kitchen had very extensive directions for tomato sauce, so I used those directions and Auntie Franca's recipe. The recipe is very simple in order to highlight the tomatoes.
When my mom (K) was pregnant with me, she met Auntie Franca at knitting class. They became fast friends and my parents were taken in by the "Italians," Auntie Franca's family. At the time, she and her husband owned a fresh pasta shop and her parents owned an Italian market (the family now owns an amazing restaurant/market and wine store in Calgary). Her parents immigrated to Canada from Italy, and they brought their amazing cooking skills and passion for food with them. My parents, and later my sister and I, got to enjoy this food. We used to go to their house and eat several courses over several hours - antipasto, meats, fish, pastas, salads, and lovely desserts. Ever since, I've been completely spoiled when it comes to Italian food!
Auntie Franca's Recipe, with directions from Smitten Kitchen
2 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes (or 4 cans Italian plum tomatoes (Look for ones that say authentic San Marzano) - 789ml)
200 ml olive oil
4 cloves garlic
5 ml oregano
5 ml black pepper
12 leaves of basil
15 ml salt
2 ml sugar (if you use canned tomatoes, to tame the acidity)
(Start here if you have fresh tomatoes): Bring a pot of water to boil and prepare an ice bath. Cut a small X at the bottom of each tomato. Blanche the tomatoes in the boiling water for 10 to 30 seconds, then shock the tomatoes in the ice water bath. Peeling the tomatoes should be easy. If one gives you trouble, toss it back in the boiling water for another 10 seconds until the skin loosens up. Discard the skins.
If using Roma (plum) tomatoes, halve each lengthwise. If using beefsteak or another round variety, quarter them. Squeeze the seeds out over a strainer over a bowl and reserve the juices.
(Start here if you use canned tomatoes): In a stock pot, lightly sauté minced and crushed garlic in olive oil.
Add the tomatoes, spices, and basil. As the sauce cooks, mash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Turn the heat to medium-low so that the sauce gently simmers. Reduce until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.