Tag Archives: tomatoes

La Fortezza Tomato Sauce

I know you have all been watching me deal with our incredible tomato harvest in our La Fortezza garden this year. Let’s just say we will have tomato sauce for every pizza party until October. Today I am sharing one of the recipes from my upcoming new cookbook, based on the region I live in La Lunigiana, located in the northwest corner of Tuscany. My cookbook, La Fortezza Cookbook, will feature the local cuisine, as well as the house specialties we serve during our workshops and retreats on the property. It will be released in fall 2022, by Rizzoli NY, and I cannot wait to share it with all of you. This is a recipe you can jar or simply bag up and put in the freezer to enjoy a little taste of summer in the winter months. Let me know how it goes. xx

Our tomato plants are very prolific; we make about 3 batches of this simple tomato sauce recipe every season. We jar it and enjoy it through the fall, winter, and spring. It is a very simple recipe that highlights the sweetness of the tomatoes. It is used in so many dishes, you will be amazed at how easy and versatile it is. The only piece of equipment needed is a food mill, which is something that is a fixture in Italian kitchens mainly used for “the sauce”.

La Fortezza Tomato Sauce
Makes about 4 quarts 8-16 oz jars

*equipment food mill


You will need:

– ½  cup extra-virgin olive oil

– 1 ½ cups finely chopped yellow onion

– 4 pounds tomatoes, chopped

– 3 clove garlic, lightly crushed

– 1 tablespoon  salt1 tablespoon dried oregano

To prepare:

Place the onion and olive oil in a large saucepan and set it over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often until the oil starts to sizzle. Cook for 5 minutes, to soften the onion. Add the tomato and the minced garlic to the onions, add the salt and oregano. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer, then lower the heat to low. Allow to simmer gently, stirring from time to time, for 40 to 50 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Run it through the food mill and store in the freezer or jar according to the directions below.

For jarring your sauce these are the directions:

Step 1: Glass jars can also be put through a hot cycle in your dishwasher.

Step 2: Sterilize metal seals in boiling water for 5 minutes and then leave in water.

Step 3: Once you fill the jars, top with lids, put the filled jars into the boiling water for 10 minutes, remove with rubber tipped tongs place on the counter to cool. The lids are sealed when the middle of the lid has an indentation. Note if all the jars do not have a proper intentdation, store in the refrigerator.

  • Note if you don’t want to jar your sauce it is good in the freezer for 6 months.
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Summer recipe:: Fried Green Tomatoes

While it's not quite green tomato season yet, tomato season will be here before we know it. Put this recipe in your spring appetizer arsenal.

Fried green tomatoes are a traditional Southern recipe but are absolutely perfect for this time of year. It’s such a fun addition to any meal, especially with the goat cheese and coulis addition. Make sure to put this recipe in your appetizer arsenal and enjoy them!

Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Coulis 
Serves 6

You will need:
– 1 cup goat cheese
– 4 green tomatoes, sliced 1⁄2-inch thick
– 2 eggs
– 1⁄2 cup milk
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1⁄2 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 1⁄4 cup yellow cornmeal
– 2 teaspoons salt
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– Feta and fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

To prepare:

Spread a small amount of goat cheese onto one side of each tomato slice. Arrange on a sheet pan, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Whisk eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and salt. One by one, dip each tomato slice into the egg mixture, then the crumb mixture; shake off any excess.

Pour oil into a deep frying pan and place over medium heat until a thermometer registers 350°F. Working in batches, fry tomatoes until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Garnish with feta and basil, if using, and serve immediately with red pepper coulis.

Red Pepper Coulis

You will need:
– 7 ounces roasted red peppers from a jar
– 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
– 1 clove garlic
– 1⁄4 cup olive oil
– 1 cup fresh basil leaves
– 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

To prepare:
Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

xx Annette

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Cream of Tomato Basil Soup

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Can you believe we are in our final week of Juice January (well, healthy habits January)?! It has honestly flown by for me, and I hope it has for you as well. For our last week, I am sharing two amazing soup recipes. For one, winter is a wonderful time to warm-up with a bowl of soup, and for another, soup is an excellent way to sneak in those extra servings of veggies. Today, it’s all about cream of tomato basil soup because honestly, is there anything better?

Cream of Tomato Basil Soup

Serves 8
You will need:
– 1/2 medium onion sliced thin
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 2  28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
– 4 cups vegetable stock
– 1 cup heavy cream
– 1 cup fresh basil chopped
To prepare:
In a large stock pot, heat butter and oil, add onions, salt and pepper.
Sauté until onions are lightly caramelized. Add tomatoes, vegetable stock, cream and basil. Simmer for 45 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve warm.
Note: The soup may be made creamy by placing it in a blender or using a hand blender if desired. I personally like it a little chunky.
Enjoy!
xx, Annette
Photo by Sara Dubler on Unsplash
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Summer Tomato Pie

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We are all still recovering from an amazing end to our Artist in Residence program, and I’m excited to share a recap of the past few weeks with you soon (including a post from intern extraordinaire, Adri!).

In the meantime, it’s the thick of tomato season, so I wanted to put a classic recipe on your radar: a summer tomato pie. The trick is to find heirloom tomatoes at your local market. Trust me, they make all the difference for this recipe. Get a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes for the perfect pie.

Summer Tomato Pie
Serves 6-8

For the Crust:

You will need:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1/2 tablespoon salt
– 1/4 cups ice water

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Make crust in a food processor. Put flour in the bowl and add oil and salt. Pulse until pebble-sized crumbs appear, and as you pulse, add water through the chute until dough comes together.

Note: You may need to add a little more water to the dough; it should form a soft ball of dough. Set the dough aside and make the filling.

Note: This is a very fragile crust; handle it with care.

For the Filling:

You will need:
– 1 lb heirloom tomatoes (8 cups sliced)
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
– 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

To prepare:

Roll out the crust and place into a 9″ pie tin. Place the parmesan on the bottom of the crust.

Toss the tomatoes with the shallots, basil, salt and olive oil and place into the pie crust.

Bake at 375F for 1 hour.

This pie can be served warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

xx Annette

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Tomato Week:: Two Bite Parmesan Crisps

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These lovely little two-bite parmesan crisps are savory and salty with a crunch—perfect to serve with a chilled citrus-y glass of Prosecco or Rose. It’s a quick appetizer that uses parmesan cheese with a combination of tomatoes – tomato jam to be exact.

The tomato jam here is the star of the show, but you’ll love the addition of mozzarella and basil too. These bites make a great addition to any menu for a summer soiree.

Two Bite Parmesan Crisps
Makes about 32

For the Tomato Jam:
You will need:
– 3  tablespoons olive oil
– 1 garlic clove, chopped
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 4 large heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare:
Place ingredients into a medium pot over medium heat for 15 minutes, set aside to cool. This step may be done a couple days in advance, and placed in the refrigerator in a sealed container until ready to use.

For the Parmesan Crisps:
You will need:
– 8 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
– Place 2 tablespoons of Parmesan on a cookie sheet fitted with a silpat.
– Arrange the spoonfuls about 3 inches apart as they will spread to form round crisps.

To prepare:
Place in a 350 F degree oven for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool before assembling the appetizer.

To assemble:
– 1 (8-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
– 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Place a dollop of  jam on top of the crisp, and add cubes of mozzarella and garnish with a basil leaf.

From my book Picture Perfect Parties RIzzoli NY

 

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