The fertility of Sicily’s volcanic soil is well-known and thanks to the Sicilian habit of having a vegetable garden I’ve never been without fresh fruits and vegetables to prepare throughout the year, from eggplants, capsicums, chili peppers, basil and tomatoes in the summer to peas, potatoes, pumpkins and broad beans in the winter. There is always something fresh to sample in the Southern kitchen.
This year the seasons were quite late and the heat lasted well into October so we had a late yet bumper harvest of tomatoes, which has been both a blessing and a curse. It means we are still collecting fresh tomatoes for a salads and enjoying fresh pasta sauce, now in early November but to be honest we are a little tired of these darn tomatoes.
We made enough tomato preserve and bottled sauce to last two years, from peeled whole tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, we even roasted them as a side to barbecued meat and filled every-single glass bottle, jar and container we had in the house the last lot went into plastic water bottles and frozen in the freezer as we had no where else to put it.
Like most people of Italian descent I grew up peeling, boiling and bottled tomato sauce every summer and everyone has their own time-tested method and recipe.
In my part of Sicily it’s simple just wash, cut and clean the tomatoes, boil them up in suggestive cauldrons,
pass them through giant juicing machines which separates the pulp from the skin,
the clean bottles are filled and boiled to preserve the flavor of the summer.
There is nothing like the colour and taste of Sicilian tomatoes…
Bless them … Benedica!