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Neapolitan Tomato Sauce Recipe - Salsa di Pomodoro alla Napoletana

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Though slow-cooking pomarola is quite tasty, there are times you'll want something quicker -- that's when this classic Neapolitan tomato sauce, known as Marinara in the US, comes into play. It's perfect for pasta, but will also work well with rice or pizza. To make about 1 1/4 pounds of sauce (in other words, a jar), you will need:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Set a large pot full of water to boil. Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and remove the brownish patches where the stems were attached using a sharp-pointed knife. Dump the tomatoes into the boiling water, blanch them for about a minute, and remove them with a slotted spoon.

Peel the tomatoes, discarding their skins, seed them, slice them, and put them in a bowl. When you are done heat the oil and the garlic in another pot (traditionalists use one made of terracotta), and stir in the tomato filets before the oil garlic begins to crackle. Season with salt and pepper, simmer over a low flame for 10 minutes, stir in the basil leaves, simmer for five more minutes, and it's done.

Figure about 1/4 cup of sauce (or more to taste) and 1/4 pound of pasta per serving; serve the pasta with grated cheese on the side.

Note:To keep the sauce from becoming heavy, it's very important that the oil not not get too hot before the tomatoes are stirred in. Also, some Neapolitan cooks of the older generation made this sauce using lard rather than oil.

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