food. family. life.

summer fresh tomato sauce

Summer tomatoes.

The stuff of dreams.

…The strong perfume of the tomato plant filled my senses as my hands moved the leaves aside to pick the ripened fruit for our evening repast.

I remember the feel of that first tomato, warm and soft from the hot summer sun.

It seemed to have a light of it’s own with a bright, deep red color and smooth delicate skin.

each one perfect in it’s imperfection and natural beauty.

As I carefully washed them in the cool water, I could only imagine the delicious aroma and flavor they would impart as we sat at our table to eat…

This traditional summer-inspired tomato sauce born of countless summer tomato harvests during my childhood in New York.

A wildly versatile and flavorful recipe that will hopefully become a favorite to be savored this summer and in the seasons to come.

mini plum tomatos on the vine_01

mini sun-ripened plum tomatos on the vine
















{salsa di pomodoro estate}


approx. a pound or more of local farm or garden fresh sun-ripened plum tomatoes (skin on, coarsely chopped; seeds removed)

2 to 3 fresh peeled garlic cloves, cut into large chunks

good quality olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

fresh basil (for serving)

In a large deep bowl, add the chopped and de-seeded tomatoes (be sure to add all the liquid from the tomatoes.)

Season very liberally with olive oil and let rest for a few minutes.

In a large stock pot, drizzle a good dose of olive oil and add in the chunks of garlic, saute on medium heat until the garlic becomes softened and very aromatic (do NOT brown or fry as the garlic will become acidic and sour your sauce.)

Remove from the heat and add in the tomatoes, place back on the stovetop at medium to high heat and stir gently.

Allow the tomatoes to come to a slow boil; reduce the heat so the tomatoes cook very slowly without over-boiling or burning.

Season to your taste with sea salt and pepper and stir to mix in well.

The sauce will reduce slightly (most of the water will evaporate) and leave behind a rich, sweet and savory sauce.

Once the sauce has reduced, remove from the heat and taste for seasonings.

You can add additional sea salt and pepper if desired, I like to add an additional drizzle of love oil to balance the sauce (to your taste.)

When serving, add fresh chopped basil at the finish no matter the dish or recipe.

Remove the garlic chunks from the finished sauce and serve immediately in any way you wish (pizza topping, pasta dishes, bruschetta topping, over eggs, etc.)

You can also make large quantities of this sauce if you have an abundance of summer plum tomatoes (from your farmer’s market or your own summer garden) to cook and freeze for the cold fall and winter months.

This is best stored in glass or plastic containers with lids that you can thaw easily when ready to use.

cucinadimammina_summer tomato sauce_01


Note: Photography by Annette Venditti

Buon Appetito!

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