June 21, 2009

Celebrating the Season- Summer Soltice

A sure sign summer has arrived is the appearance of sun-ripened tomatoes to make Pomarola, simple tomato sauce. To celebrate, yesterday I picked up my first kilo of Fiorentini, a local heirloom tomato for sauce.

The best flavor and consistency for sauce comes from these kind of tomatoes. One does not make sauce from salad tomatoes, as they contain too many seeds and too much water. The best tomatoes have a higher ratio of tomato to seeds. The San Marzano from Naples is the tomato used mostly for sauce and for canned tomatoes in Italy.

At the end of summer, when the tomatoes are the cheapest, families will by hundreds of pounds of tomatoes and put up sauce for the rest of the year.

Yesterday I picked up my first kilo of Fiorentini, a "brutto ma buono", ugly-but-good, tomato for sauce.

If you don't have a great tomato to make sauce, use canned tomatoes from Italy; (not "Italian-style") as they are picked in season and canned when at their peak.

Pomorola- Simple Tomato Sauce

Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems. Crush with your hands into a sauce-pot. Add some torn basil leaves and sea salt. Cover and let cook.
The sauce is cooked when the liquids are released from the tomatoes and the skins are falling off. Place all the contents into a foodmill ( passatutto) and puree. Do not use a food processor, as it chops the skin and seeds up into the sauce. The foodmill separates the pulp of the tomato from the skin and seeds.

The tomato sauce ready to be pureed in the Passatutto ( foodmill, or Moulix)

All that will be left will be the skins and the seeds, keep turning until no more tomato is released below.
You will be surprised how much will come out after you think it is done!

To use as pasta sauce:

If the sauce is watery, boil until the excess water has evaporated.

Add a tablespoon of butter to the sauce and tear some additional basil leaves in, one or two.

Cook pasta in salted water, drain well and return the pasta to the pan.
Add tomato sauce to the pasta and let cook together, the pasta will absorb the sauce, giving it more flavor.

Serve hot, topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Summer in your mouth!

This sauce can be frozen in small batches or bottled to keep summer all year long!


  1. I hate to correct others, but the name is Pomarola, not Pomorola, deriving from the Napolitan way of calling tomatoes "pummarola". Do not ask me why it's not Pumarola, I have no idea! :)

  2. Thanks Tuscan Villa's- I corrected it!

  3. Wow, you've got tomatoes already! They look gorgeous. It will be a while here before we have tomatoes but then I love to make sauce.

  4. Anonymous8:14 PM

    WOW I can't wait to try this.hope they have these tomatoes in Venice...Jil

  5. Judy, you're killing me! I am so missing Italy already!

  6. It's so simple I have to try it. Plus it gives me a chance to dust off the food mill.

  7. I use my foodmill to skin and seed the tomatoes - but we're stll far away from that. The tomatoes at the store and stands still aren't local enough to be vine ripened and delicious yet. Home made sauce is the best.

  8. Just stunning and mouth-watering. Nothing else to say.