I can not tell you how thrilled I was to unpack a box of groceries the other day and find the small paper bag containing these tomatoes.
I nearly couldn't eat them - I was so taken by their beauty that I just wanted to sit and stare.
I gazed at them on every lovely surface I could come up with (the white stove top, the pale blue platter, the yellow tablecloth, the green couch).
I sniffed them: they smelled like the memory of a garden from childhood.
Aren't they gorgeous? Days later, I am still rapturous at the very thought of them.
After ogling them for a while longer and spending considerable time deciding how best to enjoy them, I made this sauce.
Then everyone in my family ate it.
And that, friends, is why I love food.
Fabulous Sauce from Fabulous Tomatoes
This is one of my favourite simple no-cook pasta sauces, but it also makes a great salad if, like I did recently, you discover partway through your preparations that there is no pasta to be had in the house. This is also one of the rare times when I have to insist that you use the best olive oil you can get.
3-4 large heirloom tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1/2 good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
1 (340g) ball mozzarella, cut into small-ish cubes
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Lightly score each tomato with a sharp knife, then plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water (you may need to do this in batches) for just a minute or two, to facilitate peeling.
Scoop the tomatoes out of the water and peel them, then cut each tomato in half and remove the seeds. Core and coarsely chop tomatoes.
Place tomatoes in a large, non-reactive mixing bowl and toss gently with sugar, salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Let sit at room temperature a minimum of two hours, and as many as eight.
When nearly ready to serve (ie. while your pasta is boiling), add chives, basil and mozzarella to tomatoes and toss gently.
Makes sauce for about 450g of pasta, or salad for six.