Looking for something simple and tasty to make the weekend after Thanksgiving? This Quattro Pomodoro Sauce fits the bill. It’s easy to make, delicious, and will fill the house with a wonderful tomato aroma. Best of all, it has a different flavor profile than Thanksgiving food, and you’re bound to be ready for a change after a few days of leftovers.
I’m all for kitchen shortcuts when they make sense, but there are times when it really pays to make things from scratch. This tomato sauce is one of those times. The depth of flavor from the four types of tomatoes far surpasses anything from a jar (remember to avoid canned tomatoes). When you have time, and tomatoes, start this on your stove.
Quattro Pomodoro Sauce Ingredients (serves 6):
3 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (re-hydrated in warm water)
3/4 cup tomato paste
2 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves
Combine the plum tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and olive oil in a pan and simmer on medium until the plum tomatoes have broken down and a sauce has formed (about 35 minutes). Keep stirring occasionally and scraping the edges of the pan to prevent burning. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes — they should be cooked through, but still hold their shape.
Garnish with torn basil and enjoy. I used this sauce to make eggplant parmesan (coming soon), but it is also delicious tossed with a pasta or grain of your choice, used for lasagna, or stuffed shells. Using the four types of tomatoes leaves the sauce with a lovely complex flavor – saltiness from the sun-dried tomatoes, and sweetness from the cherry tomatoes. I like this salty sweetness, but you can also add chili pepper if you’re looking for something spicier.
Tomatoes are one of those foods that are more healthful when eaten cooked, because the antioxidant lycopene becomes more bioavailable (i.e. easier for your body to absorb). This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy raw tomatoes because they are wonderful, but it’s good to add cooked tomatoes to your diet when possible. This is especially true for men, as lycopene has been shown to be effective at preventing prostate cancer. Tomato paste is the nutritional king of all cooked tomato products because it cooks the longest and the slowest. I like to keep an open jar in the fridge and toss a spoonful into sauces and dishes throughout the week!