Since I wrote about Miriam Rubin’s delightful cookbook Tomatoes back in May, I’ve been intending to try her recipe for Green Tomato Pasta Sauce from the region of Abruzzo. I was intrigued because I’d never eaten anything like it or even seen a recipe for an unripe tomato sauce.
I panicked recently when the weather forecast predicted an overnight frost. I hadn’t tried the green tomato dish and time was running out. Unlike Rubin, who is a dedicated home vegetable grower and pens the “Miriam’s Garden” column for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, I do not have a patch from which to pluck tomatoes. A generous gardening friend donated some green fruit to enable the test.
The sauce is easy to prepare. It’s a lively blending of tart fruit, hot pepper, rich olive oil, and plenty of garlic. I believe it would be a good recipe to use in the winter months with pale, firm supermarket tomatoes. I’m going to give that a try, too.
I’m curious if any SimpleItaly readers have relatives or friends who live in, or are from, Abruzzo who prepare a similar sauce. Please share a Comment if you do.
|Abruzzo Green Tomato Pasta|| |
- ½ cup olive oil
- 6-8 large garlic cloves, minced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 tender medium celery stalks, chopped (about ¾ cup)
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
- 5-6 medium green tomatoes (2 pounds), cored and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of baking soda
- Put the olive oil and garlic in a large, heavy, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the celery and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the green tomatoes, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil. Stir in the baking soda.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with a potato masher, until they are very tender, about 25 minutes. For a thicker sauce, remove the cover and simmer about 5 more minutes. Taste for seasoning.
- Note: Toss with 1½ pounds cooked drained rigatoni. Garnish with grated Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.