I went to the farmers’ market last week and while ushering out one season, I welcomed another. It was my last chance to purchase fresh tomatoes for the year (a frost came the next day), and I purchased them in bulk. I grabbed as many tomatoes as I could carry and spent a few days pondering how to best use them. I ended up making one final batch of soup, and some tomato sauce that I’ll freeze and pull out during the winter as a reminder of warmer days.
The tomato sauce I made is a no-cook recipe that is quick and easy. It incorporates three different kinds of tomatoes (fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, and sun-dried tomatoes) to create an intense tomato flavor. Instead of using extra-virgin olive oil, I use the olive oil that the sun-dried tomatoes have been resting in. I also double (at least) the amount of tomato paste. I tossed a little sauce with some cooked penne, and have reserved the majority of it for later uses. You could use this with ravioli, chicken, and I have even poached eggs in it. I garnished the penne with a little Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Penne with Triple Tomato Sauce
(From Food & Wine, August 2007)
* 1 pound penne
* 2 medium tomatoes (5 ounces each), cut into 1-inch dice
* 4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 4 large basil leaves
* 1 garlic clove
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, garlic and olive oil. Puree until smooth. Pour the tomato sauce into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce and toss well to coat. Serve the pasta piping hot.