It’s the peak of summer.
The air smells of plums and hot concrete. There seems to be more people biking than driving, women in retro dresses, kids white from heavy layers of sunscreen. Yellow runner beans and young cauliflowers sold on every corner make me want to grab them by handfuls and run to the nearest kitchen, but I know I won’t be cooking for another week. I am scared of what will or will not happen during that week, but I have to do a mad thing every now and then, have a couple of sleepless nights, scare my grandma to death, see if I can do it.
The days of laying in the sun and burning my skin have passed. No more swimming in a lake this year, nor sharing my food with an army of spiders and other bugs. Enough of waking up several times each night because there is not enough air for three people in the tiny room. But some things of summer last all year. Aimless biking. Reading books in the morning with a cup of cold tea, brewed the previous night and forgotten. Watching the corals of sunsets go navy. And tomatoes. Since they tend to disappoint after September, I plan on making a couple of jars of tomato sauce to preserve the flavor of those hot July evenings. Mix with pasta in the winter and dream of having my feet in the water again.
Pasta with Summer Tomato Sauce
(makes enough for 3-4 people)
1,5kg ripe tomatoes
1 large-ish onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp red wine vinegar (optional)
black pepper and salt to taste
fresh basil leaves and 350g pasta to serve
Boil a large pot of water. Rinse the tomatoes and pierce the skin in a couple of spots. Cover them with boiling water, drain after one minute and cool down with tap water immediately. Peel the skins.
Heat the oil over medium heat. Chop the onion and fry, on medium-low, for 10-15 minutes, stirring ocassionaly. Once ready, the onion will remain pearly-white and will look very soft.
Chop the tomatoes into 1-2cm pieces. Mince the garlic, if using, and add to the onion for a minute. Then, add all of the tomatoes, and cook, still on medium-low, for 45 minutes, maybe even an hour, stirring every now and them.
After that time, add the spices.
You can transfer the sauce to a jar, close the lid tightly, and cook for 10 minutes to perserve.
You can also add cooked pasta to the pan, divide between four plates and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.