Summer Tomato Sauce from Puglia

Heirloom tomatoes

Summer Tomato Sauce
When my husband watched the chef prepare this in Puglia he was hooked (me too)! This tomato sauce preserves the fresh flavors of sweet summer tomatoes and basil. Yet because of the amount of olive oil added it has an elegant creamy texture. And you can make it in less than an hour; coarsely chop the carrot, onion and celery, vegetables, heat them in the pan add the olive oil and then the tomatoes. Early girl tomatoes are fantastic in this sauce.
Serves 6

1/2 large carrot
1/2 medium red or yellow onion
1 celery rib
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes
2 or 3 sprigs Italian parsley or basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Chop the carrot, onion, and celery into 1 inch pieces. Place chopped vegetables, pinch of salt and some black pepper in a 2-3 quart saucepan over medium heat and cook for a couple of minutes toss regularly to keep them from scorching (there’s nothing in this pan but the vegetables). Then add the olive oil and cook until the onion is tender.
2. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add to the vegetables along with the herb sprigs and another healthy pinch of salt. Cook for 20-30 minutes. Puree in a blender and then pass through a sieve. Taste for salt and pepper. Add a 1/4 cup of lukewarm water if it is too thick.

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Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie