I have wanting to make this sauce since we returned from Italy. This was one of the dishes Paola made in our kitchen at the apartment. She started by buying the most beautiful red tomatoes I have seen. The sauce itself doesn’t really have many ingredients. Good tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil (from her back yard), garlic and salt. The reason the sauce and pasta were so good- the ingredients were impeccable. My daughter who doesn’t like chunky sauces thought it was the best pasta she had ever tasted.
Once we got home, I started thinking how to replicate this sauce. I can’t compete with those tomatoes and the ultra fresh extra virgin olive oil. I bought a few heirloom tomatoes, some baby roma tomatoes (plum) and I had a bunch from my backyard. I cut all of them up and cooked them with olive oil and garlic. I cooked them for a while till the tomatoes began to break down and soften. Instead of serving the sauce with linguine like Paola did, I decided to buy fresh raviolis from Whole Foods- I found broccoli rabe raviolis. I was very excited about them since broccoli rabe is one of my favorite ingredients.
Since I was serving the sauce with the raviolis, I decided to smooth it out in a food mill. Once that was done, I noticed all the seeds- the sauce looked rustic and it was fine, but I decided to add another step and strained it. Out came the most luscious, delicious sauce I have ever made. It was totally worth the extra work.
The ravioli dish was a big success. Everyone really enjoyed it and there was no left over. My plan is to buy 5 or 6 pounds of heirloom tomatoes and make a big batch of tomato sauce before the season is over. I can enjoy it in the winter season and look forward to summer again!
- 5 cups mixed fresh tomatoes- cherry, heirloom and plum; roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the tomatoes and garlic with the salt. Cook on a medium heat till the tomatoes get soft and mushy, about 40 minutes. Put the cooked tomatoes through a food mill and strain the seeds out. After straining about 2 cups will be left. Taste for seasonings and keep aside.
- 1 pound fresh raviolis- any kind will do- I used broccoli rabe raviolis
- ¼ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Cook the fresh raviolis in boiling water and add to the sauce. Cook in the sauce for a 2-3 minutes and top with the cheese and serve.