Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tour of Italy: Quick Tomato Sauce with Black Olives and Cream

To wrap up our fresh pasta sauces we will end with a wonderful red sauce.

This fresh and delicate sauce can't be beat during the summer!  Using wonderful plump tomatoes, a little onion, and adding some black olives and cream for flavor makes this a stand out sauce.  

Again, this is simple to make.  Serve it over store bought or my homemade pasta.  The ingredients should be the best you can find as the seasonings are minimal and you wants all the brightness of the ones you have to stand out.  

There's more to come from Italy.  Florence is up next!


Quick Tomato Sauce with Black Olives and Cream

  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet white onion such as Vidalia, finely diced
  • 1 leek, white portion only, rinsed well and finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Tiny splash of brandy or cognac
  • 1 can (35 oz.) plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Leaves from 2 or 3 large fresh thyme sprigs, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup pitted Mediterranean-style black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Leaves from 3 or 4 large fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and leek and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant and very lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the brandy and let it boil away. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the olives and cream to the sauce. Simmer gently over low heat for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the parsley and toss gently.  Serve over pasta.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Pasta, by Erica De Mane (Simon & Schuster, 2001).

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