Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Tomatoes
I’ve had tomatoes on the brain the past week or so (and boy, is my skull red).
The renowned Italian cook and cookbook author Marcella Hazen died recently. Hazen was the doyen of Italian cooking and was a seminal figure in teaching us third-generation Italian-Americans what we had been missing.
In honor of her memory, I made her Tomato Sauce No. 3 from my tattered copy of “The Classic Italian Cookbook.”
This recipe has been called the most famous tomato sauce recipe in the world. It’s also one of the simplest.
Take the contents of a 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, and run the contents through your food mill into your saucepan.
Throw in half an onion, peeled. Throw in five tablespoons of butter. Pinch in some kosher salt. Simmer for 45 to 60 minutes. Take the onion out. Enjoy the sweetest tomato sauce you’re ever going to taste. Great with anything.
I put about half of it in a frying pan with some bunches of steamed Swiss chard and poached four eggs in it. Sublime.
Having made Hazen’s legendary sauce, it was only natural that I buy a half-bushel of ripe local tomatoes from the Golonka Farm in Whately. Of course I got this idea from you, Lucy, who bought the same thing just last week.
Now I have 52 tomatoes on a cupboard in our sun room, waiting for their fate.
Possible fates include: oven-roasted with rosemary; peeled, seeded and frozen packets for winter use; peeled, seeded and canned for more winter use; more of Hazen’s sauce; greatly reduced and frozen in ice cube trays for tomato paste uses. The possibilities are endless.
And since I have Hazen’s tattered cookbook open, I think I’ll make her fettuccine Alfredo sauce. It’s the least I can do.
Well, I didn’t buy just one half-bushel. I got four half-bushels from Golonka’s. What did I do with all those tomatoes? Nothing. Except transport them for my friend mom, Mavis. Mavis is tomato-possessed and canned 50 quarts of tomatoes. Just the good old-fashioned way.
I sometimes freeze some up, but not this year. Because processing tomatoes takes time, and time was not on my side.