Put together this versatile, simple sauce when you either bought too many tomatoes or you just want the flavor of cooked tomatoes that didn’t come out of a can. Summer tomatoes are a joy to consume fresh but those big juicy flavors make a wonderful quick cooked sauce as well .
When I am only prepping a few tomatoes for sauce, I don’t get involved in the blanch and peel process to remove the tomato skin. That is a good and sound process but it makes a lot of mess and I have learned that a good peeler will get the job done quickly.
Here is what that looks like:
I cut them into large dice, put them into a pan with some sea salt, Aleppo pepper and a big glug of McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil:
Diced tomatoes in pan
You can add shallots, onions, herbs – anything your heart desires. I keep it simple.
Bring them to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
This is a photo of a fennel blossom before it is dried and before the seeds become firm. When I was in the kitchen at the Union Hotel with Judy Rodgers, we lightly dipped these little blossoms in batter and used them to garnish a plate of fritto misto. The little seeds are still tender and they pop in your mouth, releasing a lovely sweet anise flavor. They are cute too!
If you look closely at the photo at the top, you can see the little seeds sprinkled on top of the pasta along with a little grated cheese.
This whole process takes very little time or effort and you now have a sauce you can use to:
• Fill an omelet or garnish scrambled eggs
• Add McEvoy Ranch Black Olive Tapenade and make a pizza
• Saute zucchini noodles and make “pasta”
• Liven up corn pudding or garnish corn soup
• Top a toasted baguette and add fresh mozzarella
• Add some chopped anchovies for extra umami and sauce a burger
• Sauce some grilled eggplant
Well – you get the idea. It’s amazing what having a little stash of flavor around can do to inspire your imagination. That little extra something can often save the day.
Enjoy the fruits of summer. I am sure you have heard the old saying that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit and wisdom is knowing not to put it on ice cream. I’m sure that with current cooking trends expanding boundaries and garlic ice cream already on the books, that concept can be challenged. In the meantime, enjoy your pasta with a glass of McEvoy Ranch 2014 Il Poggio Montepulciano.