One thing that I love about the Mediterranean Diet food of Puglia is the fact that even though our recipes are very simple to prepare, the resulting dishes are extremely delicious and healthy!
Tomato sauce is the recipe that best represents the simplicity of the Mediterranean Diet. We use only simple ingredients: fresh and ripe tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil leaves and onion.
Nothing else! We promise the resulting tomato sauce will be unforgettable.
To make a good tomato sauce the quality of the tomatoes you use is very important as well as the extra virgin olive oil you add on top at the end.
Contrary to what people normally think, Italian cuisine does not use as much garlic as other cuisines (i.e. Spanish).
Therefore to make the tomato sauce in Puglia we tend to prefer onion to garlic.
Also, in Puglia we don’t cover the taste of the main ingredient we are using, so we use very little onion (or little garlic) together with other herbs.
This means that if we make a tomato sauce we want to taste the tomatoes and not the onion. Therefore we don’t use too much onion.
As for the extra virgin olive oil, we use it from the very beginning to make the sautè.
It is very important to cook with extra virgin olive oil as the latest medical research says.
Contrary to what people think, high quality extra virgin olive oil has fume point of 210°C.
If you use ripe tomatoes that grew in the sun, your tomato sauce will be naturally sweet and you dont’t need to add any sugar to remove the acidity.
If you can’t find fresh tomatoes or if your tomatoes did not grow in the sun, still don’t use sugar but a sliced carrot to remove the acidity.
TRADITIONAL TOMATO SAUCE RECIPE
2 kg of fresh and ripe tomatoes
high quality extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion
1 tsp sea salt
Red pepper flakes
Soften the onion with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Cook the tomatoes for about 45 minutes at low heat.
Blend them with a food processor and cook them again at very low flame so that the sauce reduces more.
At the very end, add basil, sea salt, red pepper and extra virgin olive oil.