Pomarola, Tuscan Tomato Sauce

Ravioli With Tomato Sauce

Ravioli alla Pomarola

Come mid-summer, Italian markets sell freshly picked sun-ripened plum tomatoes by the case (10 k, or 22.5 pounds) and Italians snap them up, because there’s no dish quite so refreshing on a hot day as a bowl of pasta seasoned with lots of freshly made pomarola and a handful of grated cheese.

This classic Tuscan recipe expands well, and most households make gallons of it when the flood of tomatoes reaches its peak in August and tomato prices drop. A last thing: If you get a hankering for pomarola before tomato season begins, you can use canned plum tomatoes – you’ll probably want to sauté the herbs in this case.

  • 3 pounds (1.5 k, and if they’re watery, you will want more) plum tomatoes, cored and cut into pieces
  •  A clove of garlic
  •  A stick of celery about 6 inches long
  •  A small carrot
  •  A quarter of a medium onion
  •  A small bunch of parsley
  •  A fresh or dried hot pepper, with the seeds discarded (optional)
  •  Olive oil
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  •  A scant half teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  •  A bunch of basil

Pomarola can be made either with or without sautéing the other vegetables.

If you sauté them it will be richer, and if the tomatoes aren’t vine ripened, you may want to. However, the sautéing does curb the tomatoey taste of the sauce, so if your tomatoes are of the really good vine-ripened variety, you will want to forgo it. Also, pomarola made without sautéing is easier to digest.

If you do decide to sauté, begin by mincing the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, red pepper, and parsley. Sauté them in a quarter cup of olive oil; meanwhile, cut up the tomatoes. As soon as the onion has turned translucent, add the tomatoes and a teaspoon or so of salt to the pot, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, till the tomatoes begin to fall apart.

If you decide not to sauté, place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, pepper, cut up tomatoes, and parsley in a pot, add just a few drops of water, and simmer till the tomatoes begin to fall apart.

Regardless of the procedure you chose, once the tomatoes are cooked, you should crank the pomarola through a food mill, discarding the skins and seeds. Or, if you’d rather, puree the sauce in a food processor. If you do, you may want to add a half teaspoon of sugar to counter the tartness of the tomato skins (many Italians do). In either case, check the seasoning and return the sauce to the fire until it has thickened, and a drop put on a plate no longer gives off a huge watery halo (depending on how water the sauce was to begin with, this can take up to an hour).

When the sauce is done, stir in the basil leaves and turn off the heat. Transfer the sauce at once to clean jars, sealing each from the air by pouring a thin layer of olive oil over the sauce. Screw the lids onto the jars, and once they have cooled, refrigerate them. If you decide to expand the recipe, fill a couple of jars for immediate use. Put the rest in sterilized canning jars with lids that seal, put the filled jars in a canning pot with water to cover, and boil them gently for an hour before removing them and letting them cool. Check the seals of the lids before putting the jars in your pantry.

Using your pomarola: Figure about a quarter cup of pomarola and a quarter pound of pasta per serving. After you’ve cooked and drained the pasta, stir in the pomarola and – if you want – a dab of butter, then serve it with freshly grated Parmigiano (or pecorino romano if you cannot get fresh Parmigiano). For a variation, heat the pomarola over the stove, and, assuming that you’re serving four people, stir in a half cup of fresh cream when it begins to bubble. When the sauce is heated through, use it to season your pasta, which is now Rosé.


Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: First Courses from Tuscany, Tomatoey Pasta Sauces

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: