Organic heirloom tomatoes have begun to show their lovely colorful faces around here, and when they do, I can’t resist them. I love tomatoes regardless of their size or shape as long as they haven’t been sitting in a cold storage box somewhere, rendering them flavorless. When the odd looking heirlooms are available, I have to have them. Deciding what to make with them once they’re sitting on my kitchen counter is an afterthought most of the time unless the sun has been shining and warm weather food is on my mind. Then I know what I’ll make. In fact I’m somewhat wired to think about a particular recipe whenever I see tomatoes like this.
Because I have this tomato addiction, I’m going to try to grow my own this year. Of course I’ve grown my own tomatoes before, but as as much as I can mention that the sun shines and shines here most of the year, the position of our house and the height of our neighbor’s trees provide me precious little sunlight to plant vegetables in. The space I do have is covered with flagstones, so the tomatoes I plant will have to love growing in pots and climbing like vines.
I saw gorgeous fresh San Marzanos at open air markets when we were in Rome last summer and then packages of seeds in several Sorrento shops, but I was too skeptical to buy them and then lose them in customs on our way back home. I promised myself I’d have some before this next summer had passed so I just bought the seeds here. Hopefully they won’t mind sharing space with a few heirlooms. Then I’ll have homemade tomato sauce and lots of pasta with fresh veggies.
This recipe has a no-cook chunky tomato sauce with fresh basil oil if you’re inclined to make your own. It’s one of my favorite recipes.