Tuesday, September 10, 2013


In my first August in Italy I noticed everyone buying big wooden cases of tomatoes. Normally Italians shop often and don't buy in bulk so I knew something was up. I walked up to one woman and asked in Italian what she was doing with the tomatoes. Then I tried to listen very carefully and prayed I would understand because I was still in the rudimentary stages of learning italian. She gave me an incredulous look and then it turned to pity as she realized the poor American in the village didn't know that in August you make Pomarola. As she explained carefully how to make it, others in the store gathered around her and gave their 2 cents. One old guy kept leaning forward saying add lots of basil, as if my life depended on it. I have come to realize every person adds a little more of this or that. The recipe below is just an approximation. The only caution is not to add too many carrots or it will start to taste sweet. This is my boys favorite sauce. It is the essence of the garden in August. When you use it you must add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, adjust the seasoning and put it over pasta or add whatever you want (sausage with a good sprinkle of parmesan cheese is great)!

About 5 pounds of Tomatoes
3 carrots
6 stocks celery with leaves
2 onions
some garlic (2 or so cloves)
tablespoon of salt
some peppercorns
bunch of basil

Cut tomatoes in fourths and drop in pot. Rough chop everything else and add it to pot. Don't worry about size. Bigger takes less time. Let boil until everything is tender, about 40 minutes. Put through a food mill and then adjust the salt and add more basil. At this point you can freeze in portion sizes in quart freezer bags. I make enough to last until the next tomato season. If you want to can it then you need to add lemon juice to the jars. You cam consult a good canning guide for instructions in how to do so.