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Pommarola
(Fresh tomato and vegetable sauce for pasta)

Pommarola is truly a Florentine summertime dish, but we can eat it anytime we wish. After the tomato harvest, these Italians get busy peeling and canning tomatoes for the winter. This recipe can be canned (in mason jars) also. Fresh, ripe ingredients are important, but these days Roma tomatoes can be found in almost all markets. It is important to choose Roma tomatoes, because
they don't produce as much water as a vine-ripe or a slicing tomato, and if you choose the very reddest and firmest, you, too, will have an easy time making this sauce.

This recipe should take as long to cook as it does to boil the water needed for pasta. Pasta water should always have enough salt in it to make it taste like salt water. This is what makes your pasta dishes taste great!Fusilli, penne, or ziti are perfect for this recipe as they catch the sauce in their niches.

Ingredients:
- 2 lbs Roma (plum) tomatoes-coarsely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- butter
- fresh parmigiano cheese- hand grated

Boil the tomatoes, carrot, celery, onion, salt and pepper in a saucepan that is big enough to hold the vegetables and cover them with water. When all of the vegetables are soft, put them and the water in a blender. Don't over blend them - find a setting that turns it into an almost mushy consistency, but doesn't turn it into water. When this is finished, return the blended vegetables to the saucepan and simmer in order to reduce this sauce. This should take about ten or fifteen minutes. When you think it is thick enough (it is never going to act like "rag�"), it is cooked.

Drain pasta. I always put it back in the pot and add some sauce just to prevent the pasta from sticking. Serve. Add as much Pommarola as you wish. I always add a big pat of butter on top and stir it around. Add a generous amount (2 or 3 tablespoons) of freshly, hand-grated parmigiano cheese. If you are feeling daring -add a dash of crushed, red pepper flakes or some fresh ground black pepper! Knock yourself out - put a basil leaf on top!
Buon Appetito!
And remember - cook with love AND DON'T BE CHEAP!

 
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