Italian, Sauce

Simple Pomarola (Tuscan Tomato Sauce)

Since a long time ago I am intrigued by the red-colored sauce called tomato sauce. I don’t mean tomato ketchup (condiment) though I am interested to make my own one day. In this case, I mean THE sauce that accompanies pasta and pizza. It sounds easy and simple to make but most of us would usually grab the bottled & canned stuff (usually loaded with preservatives, etc – yuck!). But then where are the joy of cooking if everything’s premade, right? It makes me wonder is it really that hard to make tomato sauce in the home kitchen?

This recipe shows how simple it is. Making my own tomato sauce in this case, a classic Tuscan tomato sauce called pomarola proved to be enjoying and very satisfying. This recipe uses only fresh ripe tomato. Begone, canned tomato. The resulting pomarola is better than anything on the supermarket’s shelves!

Pomarola - Tuscan Tomato Sauce
Simple Pomarola (Tuscan Tomato Sauce).
Filled to the brim in this 1 pint mason jar (473ml).

Let’s cook.

Main things to note when making pomarola:
1. Undercooking the tomato sauce will make it taste raw while overcooking it diminishes the fresh flavor of tomatoes. The key is to keep on tasting the sauce until it reaches the stage of perfection and that’s to your liking.

2. Use non-reactive cookware such as stainless steel saucepan or claypot as tomatoes are acidic and can react with cookware made with copper, aluminium or iron. Crush the tomato with hands instead of a knife and use a wooden spoon for stirring.

Fresh Ripe Tomatoes
Fresh ripe tomatoes. Choose tomatoes that are soft when pressed (ripe) and plum.

Hand Crushed Tomatoes
The Italian way of hand crushing the tomatoes. No knife. 😉

Making Of Pomarola
Simmer until there is little liquid left.

Pomarola Is Ready
Pomarola is ready. I did not removed the seeds and skin this time but will make sure to remove them before cooking next time.

Pomarola - Tuscan Tomato Sauce
My pomarola has a balance of sour and sweet. Perfection!
A thick tomato sauce is perfect not only for pasta but pizza as well! Check out the meatza (meat crusted pizza) I made the other day using pomarola. The margheritta meatza was so awesome!

Easy Pomarola (Tuscan Tomato Sauce)
Serves 2-3

3 cloves shallots, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
10 fresh ripe tomatoes, white parts removed and hand crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil (I used lard)
basil, a bunch
sea salt to taste
freshly grounded black pepper

1. Over medium heat, add olive oil in a deep stainless steel saucepan (I used claypot). Then add chopped shallots and stir. About two minutes later, add chopped garlic. Cook until shallots are translucent and garlic is aromatic.

2. Add the hand crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer with occasional stirring. At 1/2 hour mark, add basil. Simmer for about 1 hour in total.

3. Place the stew in a food mill little by little to remove the skin and seeds. If you don’t have one, you can use a sieve. I skipped both as I don’t have a food mill and by using a sieve I am wasting too many ingredients and time. I don’t mind the skin and seeds. Or you can also remove the skin and seeds when preparing the tomatoes.

4. Place the sauce back into the saucepan and add sea salt to taste and black pepper. Simmer further for another 1/2 hour until most of the water has evaporated or until the sauce is to your liking.

5. Store pomarola in clean glass containers and keep in the fridge for a few days or freeze for longer. To use immediately, add to pasta or pizza (if your sauce is thick).

Happy tomato sauce making!

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