Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Not a recipe: Tomato Sauce

For the tomato lovers among us it is generally appreciated that a tomato is easily enjoyed raw, whole, and as is. There is no concern given to the seed or the skin. They are perfectly fine for eating. And while intriguing additions of olive oil, salt, basil, and bufala mozzarella can certainly delight, they are all augmentations, never edits.

But notable in every recipe I've seen regarding saucing tomatoes, one is emphatically instructed to remove the skins and the pulpy seeds.

I say not.

Oh these recipe writers, Italians, and culinary traditions are certainly correct. I won't dispute that. Their progenitors are all more proper, wiser, and better cooks than me. Their recipes are absolutely right and true and brave and thank you for your service, but


Not for me.

I really like tomato seeds. I like their soft crunch. I like boiling them down in olive oil and all their prodigious juices. I like their density and gravity and the way the rest of the luscious sauce fries into and sticks to them.

I don't have a garden, but the CSA my lovely wife and I subscribed to this year has provided such a wealth of tomatoes that eventually there was nothing for it but to sauce them.

Big pot. Pour in an unnerving amount of olive oil. Chopped up garlic, get it cooking. Salt. Lime juice. Honey, balsamic, fresh basil. And then chop up all the tomatoes, coarsely indeed, and cook.

Cook cook cook cook cook cook!

And simmer. Stew, bubble, heat, and seethe. And simmer and boil.

Until three long hours later:

Simmer some more!

This is my sauce.

I rarely get to make it, only when by chance I am bursting with tomatoes. 

There are worse things to be bursting with.

It isn't quite like regular tomato sauces, it's chewy. It's tangy and sweet. It's unorthodox. And I know it wouldn't be proper of me to recommend it.

So I won't.

I'll just sit here quietly and think about eating it on some pasta.

But it was nice of you to listen.

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