Tomato sauce… “speciale”
may, 29th 2013
If you think you do not love tomato, then you must try this recipe. And if you will still think the same, ok, I give up, even though I find it hard to believe …
The recipe is not one of my creations, but, as often happens lately, I saw it on TV. In fact the afternoon “activity” preferred by me and my mom – when we manage to enjoy it – is lying down on the sofa in our mini-apartment to watch TV. We strictly watch cooking programs, and our favorite is of course “masterchef Australia”, where once in a while they also make a masterclass. One of these took place in Italy, in Parma to be precise, very close to where I come from!! The group went to the Antica Corte Pallavicina. I never heard about the place before but on TV it looked like paradise, especially because the place where I was at the time seemed to me instead the hell. I remember very well that episode. I saw it from the bed of the hospital, the second week of my first chemotherapy cycle. I became sick from a simple virus, taken by my children (who had the flu of course) because my white blood cells were decreased dramatically. It was a horrible experience. They decided to place me next to a woman, also sick from breast cancer, but in a terminal phase. I defy anyone to be strong, but an experience like this one would demolishes any person facing it. I was looking at these beautiful images from close by my home wondering if I would ever have the chance to come back there… Okay, I’ll stop here, because luckily this possibility seem to belong to a distant past. Now I know that I will be able to go back home and probably also soon.
So, coming to the point, this is a recipe of disarming simplicity but surely successful. This tomato sauce can be used to make vegetarian lasagna (as it was in the television program). I’ve used it for a pasta sauce. The occasion: the visit of a dear friend from Italy! I prepared the sauce one day in advance in order to devote more time to my guest.
One noteworthy thing: the tomatoes are cooked in the oven at a temperature below 180 degrees, which is the “smoke point” of olive oil. Above this temperature hydrogenated vegetable fats (or trans-fats) are generated, which are particularly harmful to our health. In fact they increase the level of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” one) but not of HDL (the “good” one), increasing in this way the cardiovascular risk.
In short, this is a tasty and healthy recipe, especially if the olive oil we use is cold pressed, obviously (in cold pressed olive oil there are no trans-fats, while chemically extracted oils contain already 5% of them on the total amount of fats).
2 kg of fresh tomatoes
a bunch of fresh thyme
olive oil as needed (preferably cold-pressed)
salt and pepper as needed
1.you start by washing thyme and tomatoes under running water (I used 2 kg of tomatoes because the oven tray was full but if you have the possibility, don’t hesitate to use more, the more the better!)
2.cut the tomatoes in 4 or 6 parts, depending on their dimension; I cut them into 4
3.arrange them next to each other, add salt, sprinkle with fresh thyme and olive oil, then cook them in the oven for about 1 ½ hours at 150 degrees …
4 …. or untill your kitchen will smell in an amazing way! Mine smelled like pizza! 🙂
5. then assemble all the cooked tomatoes and cut them into small pieces
6.and… if you have a piece of bread … dip it into it !!! 🙂
At this point you just chop the onion and stir-fry it at low temperature in a little olive oil. When it gets to a golden color you can add the previously cut tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, mix the sauce and … bon appetit.
To make it a more festive dish I also added some shrimps, but I assure you that the vegetarian version would have not been outdone! 🙂