Salsa di pomodoro
Preparation - Easy
About 2 cups
A basic all-purpose tomato sauce, this may be put up in canning jars for long storage. Simply adjust the other ingredients for the quantity of tomatoes you have available and cook the sauce. Then fill clean pint or half-pint (depending on the size of your household) canning jars to within a half-inch of the top, screw down the lids, immerse them in water to a depth of one inch in a stockpot or canning pot (put a layer of newspaper on the bottom to keep the jars from banging around), bring to a boil, and boil for 30 minutes. Using tongs, remove the jars from the water and set them aside on a cloth towel until the lids ping, indicating that they are fully sealed. Tighten the lids once more and secure.
2 or 3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 pounds fresh ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks, or one 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice, chopped
1 teaspoon salt (omit if using canned tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
IN a heavy nonreactive saucepan over low heat, sweat the garlic in the oil until it begins to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt if you wish, and sugar, raise the heat slightly, and cook rapidly, stirring frequently, while the tomatoes give off their juice and cook down to a thick mass - l5 to 20 minutes. Watch the mixture carefully toward the end to make sure it doesn't scorch.
PUT the sauce through the fine disk of a food mill, discarding the seeds, bits of skin, and other residue. If the sauce seems thin, return it to medium-low heat and continue cooking, stirring constantly and watching very carefully, until it reaches the desired consistency.
Flavors of Puglia
Nancy Harmon Jenkins