We are starting to see the real "primizie" (first fruits) of the summer season here! I say "real primizie", because greenhouse strawberries and tomatoes and apricots, peaches and plums from South America have been on the supermarket shelves for a couple of weeks now. Actually, this is a fairly new practice in Italy. Up until a few years ago most of the fresh fruit and vegetables were grown in Italy and so they followed the seasons. But before I get off on that tangent... my local Pizzicheria had fresh San Marzano tomatoes and fresh basil this morning - so I bought some of each, as well as fresh tagliolini and now I want to show you just how easy it is to make "real" homemade fresh tomato sauce. So, here we go!
1 to 1.5 lbs fresh, ripe plum or other San Marzano type tomatoes
The advantage to this type of tomato as opposed to Jersey or salad type tomatoes is that they are firm, flesh and have little juice. This is important for a thick, rich sauce.
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
a couple of sprigs of fresh basil
3/4 lb fresh tagliolini or tagliatelle (you can substitute with spaghetti)
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
This recipe requires a good old-fashioned food mill! If you don't have one, ask your mom or aunt or grandmother to lend you hers!
Cook the sauce over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often. It should really bubble and boil so some of the water evaporates. Cooking it more will "kill" the delicious fresh tomato flavour!
By now the water is boiling, so salt it and cook the pasta following the instructions on the package if you use bought pasta. If you are really good and you made your own pasta, cook it for a minute or two.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauce in the pan. Toss well to coat with your delicious, fresh, homemade tomato sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese and...
as Julia Child would have said had she spoken Italian...