Our friends and neighbors who are also ultra-prolific gardeners went away on a trip and gave us a load of tomatoes before their departure. Some were big, heavy, and seemed very juicy, others were on a smallish side. I wanted to do something special with our gift, and went on a road never traveled before by making a grilled tomato sauce. A final touch was wilting some arugula in it. I will be traveling around this road on a regular basis from now on, this was a tasty sauce, and so simple to put together!
ORECHIETTE WITH GRILLED TOMATO SAUCE AND ARUGULA
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
8 to 10 tomatoes, preferably from a friend’s garden
a little olive oil
salt and pepper
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cups of arugula
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Rub the tomatoes with a little olive oil, sprinkle salt and pepper, and place on a hot grill until the skin gets nicely charred. Turn them every few minutes to get grill marks on all sides. Different sizes of tomatoes will be ready at different times (obviously), so remove them from the grill accordingly. Take the stem and central core out, place the flesh, skin, and seeds in a food processor and process until smooth, or retaining some chunks, if you prefer.
Saute the diced shallot in olive oil with a little salt and pepper until golden. Add the processed tomatoes, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until it gets the consistency you like. Season with more salt and pepper if needed, and in the final couple of minutes add the arugula, cooking gently until it wilts.
Meanwhile, cook the orechiette pasta according to the package instructions, drain, and mix with the sauce, warming everything together for a few minutes. Add to a serving bowl, and shave some Parmigiano on top.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: All modesty aside, this sauce was a perfect use for tomatoes that were not uniform in size and type, all I had to do was pay attention to the grill and remove each one as they got done. Grilled tomato sauce would work well on many venues: as a topping for pizza, bruschetta, over a mild, grilled fish, or as a basis for pasta sauces with different herbs and/or greens. Not bad as a starting point for soup, I suppose, although the idea of soup with the heat wave we are having is not very appealing. I never quite got the taste for cold soups, maybe next year I’ll explore that untraveled road. 😉
ONE YEAR AGO: Twice-baked goat cheese souffles
TWO YEARS AGO: Hearts of Palm Pie