9.9.10 Love Apples
A tomato by any other name...My friend Nina told me that she dubbed my delectable Spicy Tomato Jam (which I can't recommend highly enough as a way to use some of the many tomatoes flooding your farmers market at this very moment) Love Apple Jam and gave jars of it away as the favor at her wedding. Genius! Tomatoes were probably given this lightly erotic moniker due to their alleged aphrodisiac qualities. We all know how lusty those Italians are, right? At any rate, if you're not making jam with your love apples, you're undoubtedly dabbling in sauce. ("Gravy," if you're Italian-American, or have watched too many Sopranos episodes.) We have several divine varieties of heirloom tomatoes that G brings in by the armload every day and I've been making batches of sauce and freezing them—in glass jars, in ziploc bags—to squirrel away for the winter months. Can you just imagine eating spaghetti with sauce made from your own tomatoes in the middle of January?
Despite our own crops, I couldn't resist buying a bunch of deep golden pineapple tomatoes from the farm. I made a slightly spicy sauce, rendered even more yellow with the addition of saffron and turmeric. I think you should make it right now to have over fusilli with plenty of fresh basil; or simmer some lamb meatballs in it (my new obsession); or turn it into a soup by thinning it with stock and stirring in fresh parmesan. Other uses for all those tomatoes? Gazpacho. Cream of tomato soup. Tomatoes stuffed with cheese and baked. Or stuffed with rice and baked. Or stuffed with tuna cured in olive oil and eaten cold. Or juiced and used for fresh Bloody Marys with lots of horseradish. Or made into aspic—OK, I still haven't done this, but I SWEAR I'm going to.
SPICY YELLOW TOMATO SAUCEserves 61/4 cup olive oil1 large onion, chopped4 garlic cloves, chopped2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped1 1/2 tablespoons chopped jalapeños with seedsgenerous 1/4 teaspoon turmeric1 large pinch saffron1 1/2 pounds yellow tomatoes, cored and diced (about 3 1/2 cups)Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden. Add garlic, anchovies, jalapeños, turmeric and saffron. Fry for a couple of minutes. Mix in tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.At this point you might be done, but I really like to cool the sauce a bit, puree it in my cuisinart and push it through a fine sieve. There is something so brilliant about how a smooth, thick sauce coats the pasta. Try this at least once. I do it with most of my tomato sauces, except something like a puttanesca, of course.