Sara’s Kitchen: Mellowed Tomato “Sauce”

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If you think raw tomatoes are icky, go ahead and click elsewhere. This recipe is for tomato lovers. Folks who think tomatoes are the best flavor of the season, the joie de vivre of summer — this is the recipe for you.

tomatoes
Last year’s container harvest.

Even better, you don’t really need to shop for this. If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, however, ask a neighbor for some, or go to a Farmer’s Market. You want at least two or three kinds. I grew five varieties this year, so I used what was ripe at the time — Rutger’s, Fourth of Julys, Patio and Golden Cherry Early Girls, Brandywine and Sun Sugar.

raw-sauce
Let those tomatoes sit and think about what they’ve done.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs tomatoes, mixed variety ideal
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Red pepper flakes
  • salt
  • 1 lb pasta – spaghetti, angel hair or other
  • fresh-cracked pepper
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Cut garlic clove in half and rub all over the bottom of your dish. If you want even more garlic flavor, peel and crush the clove and leave it to mingle with the tomatoes.
  2. Cut up your tomatoes. Don’t bother peeling or seeding or anything — completely unnecessary. 
cutting-tomatoes
Don’t waste time de-seeding or skinning these babies. Bring it all together.
  1. Add tomatoes, salt, red pepper flakes, olive oil to bowl and very gently toss.
Look how pretty!
Of course, you can adjust these seasonings to taste. Add more garlic or omit the red pepper flakes.
  1. Let sit — for at least 30 min and up to, oh 8 or 10 hours.
Of course, you can adjust these seasonings to taste. Add more garlic or omit  the red pepper flakes.
See how the ‘maters break down a bit and create these nice juices? That’s what you want.
  1. When you’re ready for dinner, prepare pasta.
  2. Undercook by one minute, then strain the noodles.
  3. Spoon some of the juices from the tomatoes into the bottom of your pot, keeping the range on low or off. Add pasta back to the pot and toss, getting all that wonderful garlicky tomato juice into your pasta.
  4. Combine in bowl with tomatoes, torn basil leaves and black pepper to taste — and toss.
  5. Add cheese if you insist. Purists would decline. If you must, go good — freshly grate some good pecorino romano.
Beautiful, heat-free, easy dinner!
Beautiful, heat-free, easy dinner!
  1. Enjoy!

Pour: A summer Italian dish screams for a summer Italian wine. Pick a pinot grigio or other light-bodied white that won’t compete with the tomato flavors.

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Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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