Last Sunday we canned 60 pounds of tomatoes from a local farm (click here for the process and a 3 minute cooking video). It was a nice day for it, the only raw rainy day of the long Labor Day weekend, so a nice day to have the house warmed by the boiling of tomatoes and jars! Matteo and Marco did all the cooking work, and I got to have my party too. . . following along, doing the cleanup!
We timed it pretty well, as we used the final jar of last season in the very same weekend. We made spaghetti al pomodoro. This is a simple sauce made by sautéing some shallots in olive oil. Then, once the shallots are tender, add the home-canned tomato sauce and simmering for a good 15-20 minutes. Add some salt, QB (quanto basta – to taste) and, if desired, a touch of heavy cream at the end.
Another way we use this sauce throughout the year is for a simple pizza margherita. We start with Matteo’s pizza crust (click hear for the short cooking video and recipe). Then, spread the dough out on the pan and coat with a thin layer of the tomato sauce. Top with fresh mozzarella, salt, a drizzle of EVOO, and a sprinkle of oregano. Marco reminds me that, in Italy, the tomato sauce for pizza is always a simple tomato sauce like the one from our home-canned jars.
One more idea for your tomato sauce is the polo alla pizzaiola (click here for more details). The is like a stove top chicken parmigiana. Again, you begin with the shallots sautéed in EVOO. Then, add the tomato sauce, salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes. In another pan, chicken cutlets are lightly floured and sautéed in olive oil. Salt and pepper them, once browned, and then spoon the sauce over and around the cutlets simmering gently over low heat until the chicken is cooked. Near the end, place fresh mozzarella slices over each cutlet and top with oregano. The cutlets can sit like this till you’re ready to serve and simply heat them up again.