Italian Sauces #3: Tomato!

Italy flags have three colours: green, white and red. If we talk about food, we can easily say that the green is for the basel, the white is for Mozzarella and the red is for tomato. And tomato is today’s hero, because without it a huge part of the Italian kitchen would probably not be same or not available.

If you could list all the Italian dishes, at least half of them contain trace or are based on tomatoes and if you look all the recepy with pasta, the biggest part of them have tomato sauce in it. Tomato and tomato sauce are the king of italian food. Let me show you how much tomato is really important.

Think about pizza. You need of course Pizza dough to make pizza, but the dough without mozzarella, tomato and iol would be just a tasteless mix of flour and yeast. You could theoretically eat pizza without mozzarella, but without tomato is almost impossible…or at least very hard!

Another huge example is Pasta. And when i say pasta, i mean pasta as entree, not as a side dish (using pasta as a side dish is a crime). You can eat pasta with every sauce in this world (well, maybe not all of them, but almost all of them) but if you ask an italian the first sauce that comes to mind, tomato sauce is the first choice. The reason are two: tomato sauce with pasta is delicious and second is absoluteyl easy to cook.

Talking about sauces, there are sauces based on tomato. Bolognese sauce is a perfect example. Without the tomato it would be just some delicious meat cooked for a couple of hours. You can eat it, of course, it would still taste delicious, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not bolognese. We need tomato sauce to cook it…and there’s no other way to cook this sauce without tomato. It’s like using a car without an engine, it just doesn’t work.
Amatriciana is another perfect example: a sauce cooked with gianciale and tomato sauce. It you don’t use tomato sauce, you don’t have amatriciana…you have something else also delicious, but not amatriciana.

Now the question is the following: how to cook it? Well, there’s nothing easier than that.

San Marzano tomatoes  2 kg
Basil to taste
Fine Salt to taste

That’s it! You don’t need anything else. How to prepare it? Here is how you prepare it!

Wash the tomatoes very well and remove the stalks. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise and remove the central part with the seeds by squeezing them. The tomatoes must be in one bowl and the juice in another.
Now place the tomatoes in a large pot and let them wilt, low heat for about 30 minutes, turning them from time to time.
When the tomatoes are well wilted, add salt. Stir and wait a few more moments. Pass a few tomatoes at a time with a vegetable mill, with a mesh between fine and medium. Continue in this way, collecting the puree in a bowl. The sauce is ready!

https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Passata-di-pomodoro.html (Italian version)

After you have the sauce ready, you can decide either to use all of it or not. If you don’t use it all, you can put it in the freezer and use it later. That’s the beauty of lot of italian sauces. However, it’s pretty hard not to use all the sauce you cooked for long that 2 weeks. Between pasta, pizza and bruschette the opportinity to use tomato sauce are a lot. And every time you eat it will be happy!

See ya

Mauro

The Ironically All-Rounder
I'm pretty sure to know everything. If thre's nothing i don't know. be free to tell me!

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