We are in the middle of tomato season. This versatile fruit that masquerades as a veggie can be made into everything from a sandwich to a bowl of salsa. However it is best made into a tasty pasta sauce. The garden taste comes through, tangy and sweet, perfect for any pasta when made this way.
David Tanis believes this and wrote about it in his column City Kitchen in today's New York Times Food section.. One of the best aspects of homemade sauce is that you can make it and use it months from now. There will be that ripe taste in the middle of a cold winter. Even if you don't; have them in your backyard you still can get beauties at your local grocery store and get them cheap. According to Mr Tanis, this is another reason to make sauce. He suggests looking for ugly, cracked and large ones that are slightly bruised. These are cheaper due to these imperfections yet still have a sweet, dense blood red flesh, perfect for sauce. Another suggestion is using plum tomatoes if you like their taste(slightly sweeter than the beefsteaks).The one standard he demands is that they be sun ripened. (remember home growers can also use the less than perfect ones from their gardens too instead of tossing them onto the mulch pile)
Prepping them for sauce is easy. This is not the kind of recipe where home chefs don't; blanch and peel the tomatoes. What it does require is the surprising hand held grater, a gadget not necessarily associated with sauce making., Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters and then squeeze out the seeds if you don't like a few in your sauce. Now place the cut side against the grater's large holes and gently rub until there's only tomato skin left. Now add a pinch of sea salt, two tablespoons of olive oil along with a sprig of basil and a halved garlic clove. You can add tomato paste to thicken it for a more traditional textured sauce. Cook it in a low wide saucepan over a high heat. Once it starts to boil the lower the heat and let it simmer.It can be kept in the fridge for five days afterward or just frozen for later use down the line. . Mr Tanis recommends serving it with farfalle or penne, textured pasta that will hold the sauce but I can also see it with bucatini,the thick tubular spaghetti.Serve with a sprinkle of pecorino or Romano for the best summer dish of the season.
Take advantage of tomato season and make this easy and delicious sauce. It's a great way of enjoying the harvest right now. Freeze some for later to have the taste of sun ripened tomatoes on a cold winter's night.