Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fresh sauce and salad

We are getting loads of ripe, wonderful tomatoes out of our garden beds right now. I had to share my favorite dish for these gems: Fresh Sauce for pasta. I got this from my Sicilian brother in law, and I love it.

All you have to do is blanch the tomatoes (drop them into simmering water for just a minute), remove them from the water, and let them sit for a few seconds to cool down. Cut out the stem end/core, and you will see that the blanching makes the skin slide right off, usually in one piece. Now cut each in half across the middle of the tomato (not from stem end to blossom end, but across the other way). This exposes most of the seeds and juice, and you can gently squeeze each half over a bowl to remove some of that watery center pulp. Chop up the tomato flesh and set aside.

Now, chop up as much garlic as you can (this is to taste, but I will use at least one clove per tomato, usually twice to three times that much). Pour a good dose of olive oil into a small frying pan (maybe a Tablespoon per tomato), heat over low heat, and soften the garlic. While that is cooking, chop a big handful of fresh basil and one of fresh parsley. The more the better with these fresh herbs. Now, dump the herbs and the softened garlic with oil into the fresh tomatoes, add salt and pepper (and you can sautee some fresh cayenne peppers with your garlic if you have some), and let sit for a few hours to blend the flavors. Serve at room temperature over warm pasta. Amazing. Add a salad of cukes or cukes and cherry tomatoes, and you are all set.

Now I am starving.