Recipes for an Umbrian Summer

Rate this item
(0 votes)

There’s nothing simpler to make, and nothing tastier, than a fresh tomato sauce. Just about any Italian restaurant will serve you pasta al pomodoro; it’s often my choice on a hot summer day. You’ll always know a good restaurant by their tomato sauce. No restaurant, though, can make a sauce quite as good as your own, using ripe tomatoes from your garden.

No garden, no tomatoes? Buy good organic ones for the recipes below.

Pasta al Pomodoro (for 6 or more people)

Ingredients (for 8 people):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 15 Very ripe Roma tomatoes (should be soft to the touch and when cut open, fully red – no white filaments)
  • 2 - 3 Cloves garlic
  • Small white or yellow onion
  • Salt q.b.
  • Generous bunch of fresh basil
  • Rigatoni or penne pasta (1 lb. for every 5 people)

Wash the tomatoes and add them to a pot of water. Squeeze tomatoes under the water to eliminate seeds. Cover bottom of saucepan with olive oil and add tomatoes. Add garlic cloves, onion (no need to chop), fresh basil, and salt.
Simmer on low heat until water from the tomatoes evaporates. Put tomato mixture into a food mill and puree.
Add salt as needed. Serve on pasta with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta al Pomodoro con Zucchine Fritte
(Pasta with Tomato Sauce and Fried Zucchini)
For another take on this recipe, make the above sauce and top off with fried zucchini. Slice a medium-sized zucchini. Put the zucchini in a bowl and cover with fine salt and let sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse well, then drain and spread out on dish towel, assuring that all slices dry before frying. Add sunflower seed oil (or other seed oil) to pan and then some olive oil. When oil sizzles, slide in zucchini (avoid overlapping slices for better frying). Brown on both sides, then drain on paper. Add your fresh tomato sauce to pasta and top off with fried zucchini and Parmesan cheese. Buon appetito!