Clay's Kitchen : Ricette Italiane (Italian Recipes)

Ricette Italiane (Italian Recipes)

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <clay@panix.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Southern Italian Traditional Tomato Sauce

Recipe from: stile mediterraneo
Servings: 8 to 10

This is one of the most representative recipes from the Southern Italian cuisine of Puglia. All our cuisine is very simple but delicious because based on very fresh and seasonal ingredients that we produce locally. For this recipe, we use only these ingredients: fresh and ripe tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil leaves and onion. Nothing else! To make a good tomato sauce the quality of the tomatoes you use is very important as well as the extra virgin olive oil you add on top at the end. Contrary to what people normally think, Italian cuisine does not use as much garlic as other cuisines (i.e. Spanish). Therefore to make the tomato sauce in Puglia we tend to prefer onion to garlic. Also, in Puglia we don't cover the taste of the main ingredients we are using: if we make a tomato sauce we want to taste the tomatoes and not the onion. Therefore we don't use too much onion. As for the extra virgin olive oil, we prefer to add it at the end when the tomato sauce is ready and not in advance. This is because once cooked, the extra virgin olive oil loses all the health properties and flavors. Whereas if you add it raw it still has all its flavors. To remove the acidity our grandmother always told us to cook the tomato sauce at least for two hours. If you don't have that much time, you can use a sliced carrot that helps removing the acidity, instead of using sugar.

4 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 basil leaves
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Cut the tomatoes in chunks. Soften the onion with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. Cook the tomatoes for about two hours. Blend them with a food processor that seprates the skin from the juice. Cook the sauce again at very low flame so that the sauce reduces more. Add basil, sea salt, red pepper and extra virgin olive oil.


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