The tomato that grows under the radiant sun, symbol of the Italian cuisine, is used throughout the peninsula in various forms: fresh, minced, dried or canned …its purposes are endless. It is definitely used in most dishes especially in the South of the country where the expression aglio-olio-pomodoro-peperoncino (tomato-garlic-oil-chili) sums up the characteristic atmosphere of the
local and Mediterranean flavours. Homemade canned tomatoes is still widely made today in the Italian kitchens in most regions. Tomatoes are purchased in large quantities at local markets or cultivated in the countryside depending on the possibilities.
Cooking, sterilization, jars conservation are part of the ritual…many families and friends come together in their kitchen or garage to spend a pleasant day together just by preparing canned tomatoes, which will be carefully preserved during the whole year. The preparation and method has kindly been explained by Chiara M. from the Piedmont region in Italy.
CANNED TOMATOESThe most suitable tomatoes are the long “San Marzano”, but any other kind of tomato that does not contain too much water will be fine.
– Wash the tomatoes and drain them
– Cut them lengthwise and squeeze.
– In case no water comes out of the tomatoes, also cut them on the other side in order to facilitate cooking.
– Put them in a large copper, steel or even aluminum pot (once cooked, remove them). Use a flat stick to mix.
Make sure the fire is not too strong at the beginning because tomatoes tend to burn. Keep on stirring.
– Once they become thick, remove the water with a wooden spoon. This water is very effective for cleaning metal objects (soak them into the water of the boiling tomatoes for a few minutes, rub them with a slightly abrasive cloth and rinse).
The amount must shrink by at least 1/3. This takes about three hours.
– Turn off the heat under the pot, remove the quantity of a bowl full of cooked tomatoes and pass into the appropriate electric machine (mixer). Repeat the process with the whole content of the pot.
– Once the paste has been prepared turn it with a spoon then pour it into jars and close immediately tightening moderately.
– Once all the jars are filled, rinse the pot and use it again to
put all the jars wrapped in clothes so that they don’t break. Add water
(slowly because the jars are still hot and could break), until they are completely covered (at least two or three centimeters above the lid) and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool and remove them the next
day, making sure that they have resisted through the whole process.
Text Carole Sahebzadah
Pictures Chiara M.
Explanation and text by Chiara M.