Few foods embody summer more than those sultry, nearly bursting tomatoes at your local farm stand. Almost too soft to hold, overripe tomatoes are best for making fresh tomato sauce. Salt and oil add other dimensions of flavor to the sauce and thicken it, so it clings to pasta, arancini, or whatever else it is meant to adorn. Made with only three ingredients, this sauce requires you to start with a cold pan; the tomatoes are gently simmered and the olive oil and salt are added just before serving. Make a double batch and freeze some for glum, dark winter nights when everyone needs to taste and feel a little sunshine. Serve with a tube-shaped pasta, like penne, which will capture bits of sauce for extra juicy satisfaction, or as a dipping sauce for Arancini.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 3 LARGE OVERRIPE BEEFSTEAK TOMATOES
- 2 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 2 LARGE PINCHES OF FINE SEA SALT
- Using a box grater, grate the tomatoes over a bowl. Either discard the skin that doesn’t go through the grater or chop it finely and add it to the bowl.
- Add the tomato pulp to a medium sauté pan, bring to simmer over medium heat, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- When you see the liquid bubble and separate from the bulk of the tomatoes, add the olive oil and salt.
- Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days, or in ziplock bags in the freezer for up to 6 months (see “Storage Tips for Sauces,”).