One of my favorite meals is a simple bowl of macaroni with a fresh tomato sauce. It’s a cold Friday night here in the city and after a long week in the office nothing is better than a big hearty bowl of macaroni…
8 tomatoes on the vine
1 bunch of basil, about 12 leaves
5 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 of a vidalia onion, diced
4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 tsp. of sugar
Put up a big pot of boiling water. While water is boiling place a big bowl of ice into the sink to create an ice bath. Place tomatoes in a colander and rinse. Using a sharp knife pierce the bottom of the tomato and make an “X”. Carefully drop the pierced tomatoes into the boiling water. Blanche them. (Which means allow them to boil for 1 minute and quickly remove.) A handy tip is to watch the tomatoes in the boiling water and when you see the skin start to peel; using a slotted spoon and remove. Place blanched tomatoes immediately into ice bath. Once tomatoes are cool to the touch, peel the skin off. (The blanching and the ice bath will allow the tomato skin to come off easily.) Place peel tomatoes in a bowl and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic till onions are translucent and garlic is golden. Now add the peeled tomatoes. Add the basil. Add the salt, pepper and sugar. Stir and lower heat to a simmer.
After 5 minutes of cooking, use a potato masher and mash the tomatoes as best as you can. Don’t worry if there are chunky bits – that makes the sauce more rustic and flavorful. Cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently.
In another pot, boil water and don’t forget the salt to flavor the macaroni.
For this recipe I used Gemelli because I love the hearty texture paired with the lightness of the fresh tomato sauce.
Serve with grated parmesan.