Cherry tomato sauce

Cherry tomato sauce

By
From
Sicily
Makes
1kg

I learnt to make this sauce from our Sicilian head chef Gregorio Piazza. He showed me how he leaves the stalks on the tomatoes during cooking as they add a wonderful grassy flavour to the sauce.

Buy tomatoes when they are really ripe, dark red and soft. In Sicily, tomatoes are available all year round but they are much better in the sunnier months. Taste them to make sure you are happy with the sweetness. Datterini are tiny plum tomatoes that are perfect for this. However, if you find your tomato sauce is not sweet enough add a little sugar to taste. This recipe can also be made with tinned cherry or San Marzano plum tomatoes, which contain little water.

This sauce has infinite uses and is used in several recipes in this book, from the risotto, to the timballo and more, and can be used in place of the sfincione sauce.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 white onion, roughly chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1kg cherry tomatoes on the vine
or 1.2kg tinned cherry or whole plum tomatoes
1 sprig basil
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-2 teaspoons sugar, (optional)

Method

  1. Fry the carrot, celery and onion in the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat for around 10 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes with a few of their stalks (if using fresh) to the pan with the basil and seasoning and cook over a medium heat with a lid on. Stir frequently, bashing the tomatoes with a potato masher to break them up. Bring to the boil, then remove the lid and reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for around 30–40 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as necessary, adding a teaspoon of sugar if the tomatoes still taste acidic. Use the sauce as it is or remove the basil and stalks and use a stick blender to blend the sauce to a smooth, velvety consistency.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Sicily
Sicilian
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