Today let's talk about pummarola (aka tomato in Campanian dialect)!

During these last weeks in food blogs and in the real world I heard so much about tomato sauce, about family traditions, about grandmothers who made tons of tomato sauce in the past (but also today), about families gathered around a cauldron that simmered for days.

Well, I am not part of this group: I don't know whether it is a question of more or less Northern origins or whether it is simply out of habit, but my family doesn't have the tomato sauce tradition. We do make conserves, 'cause we make a lot of jam (we have a great thornbush and a mulberry tree), and especially in oil appetisers (in August we made small onions, small artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, stuffed hot peppers, in oil eggplant, in oil zucchini and peppers) but, aided by the fact that in my house we eat very little tomato sauce, we have never felt the need of pummarola.

Until now, of course. Because this year I said to myself: maybe tomato sauce is a rarity in my house, but also ragout, eggplant parmigiana, or stew or pizza will be so much tastier with home-made tomato sauce.

So I started with about twenty kilos … we'll see if they will be sufficient or if next year I'll have to make more, 'cause I convinced the family to start a new tradition.

Meanwhile, here my three tomato preserves.

TOMATOES IN PIECES

Ingredients

* ripe San Marzano (oblong) tomatoes

* fresh basil

Procedure

Wash tomatoes and cut them into small pieces. Place on the bottom of the jars (previously washed and sterilised) a few leaves of fresh basil. Start to put tomatoes in jars: when the jars are half fulled, place a few basil leaves, then continue putting tomatoes in and, at the top of the jar, place a few basil leaves more.
Close the jars, put them in a pot of cold water, separate them with a cloth (so, when the water boils, they won't bump against each others) and bring to a boil. Let the water boil for 45 minutes/1 hour and then allow the jars to cool down in the same water until they reach under vacuum.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

WHOLE UNPEELED TOMATOES

Ingredients

* ripe San Marzano (oblong) tomatoes

* fresh basil

Procedure
 

Wash tomatoes; meanwhile, bring to a boil a small pot of water. When it reaches a boil, put a few tomatoes at a time and let them scald for a few seconds. Drain them with a skimmer and, while they're still hot, incise the skin with a sharp knife and peel them. Do the same with all tomatoes.

Place on the bottom of the jars (previously washed and sterilised) a few leaves of fresh basil. Start to put tomatoes in jars, pressing them. when the jars are half fulled, place a few basil leaves, then continue putting tomatoes in and, at the top of the jar, place a few basil leaves more.
Close the jars, put them in a pot of cold water, separate them with a cloth (so, when the water boils, they won't bump against each others) and bring to a boil. Let the water boil for 45 minutes/1 hour and then allow the jars to cool down in the same water until they reach under vacuum.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.

READY MADE TOMATO SAUCE

Ingredients

* extra-virgin olive oil

* ripe San Marzano (oblong) tomatoes

* garlic

* fresh basil

* salt

* chili pepper (optional)

Procedure

Wash the tomatoes and cut them into small pieces. In a pot large enough heat some extra-virgin olive oil. Then add tomatoes, garlic and basil, season with salt and, if you like, add some chili pepper. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for at least an hour. At this point, puree with a grinder (this system is obviously only good for small to medium quantities) and put back on the stove. Cook until the sauce will reach the desired thickness. I let it cook for a couple of hours, 'cause I wanted a sort of ready made tomato sauce: I wanted a semi-finished product that, opening the jar, I could use after a 20 minutes cooking, not more (and I already tried it in a last-minute pasta alla Norma, with tomato sauce, basil, fried eggplant and grated hard ricotta).

Pour the tomato sauce in the jars (previously washed and sterilised). Close the jars, put them in a pot of cold water, separate them with a cloth (so, when the water boils, they won't bump against each others) and bring to a boil. Let the water boil for 45 minutes/1 hour and then allow the jars to cool down in the same water until they reach under vacuum.
Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.


 

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