the inspiration for this recipe came from a pile of tomatoes that were left on the counter in the farm kitchen. (according to farmer tom, tomatoes should never go in the fridge as it ruins their flavor and offends the gods) however, the pile on the counter was beginning to attract fruit flies and deserved a dignified denouement. in the end, i gleaned from a recipe at 101cookbooks, which relied on canned tomatoes but had me intrigued w/ lemon zest and its lack of traditional italian herbs. let me tell you, we love this recipe! it shines w/ fresh tomatoes and a sunny simplicity. like me you’ll probably want to add your own spices, but do refrain (at least the first time you make it), you may be pleasantly surprised.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 cloves garlic -mince
4 cups whole fresh tomatoes -skin, core
zest of one organic lemon
fresh ground pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese
The easiest way to skin a tomato: bring a pot of water to boil, add whole tomatoes, leave for ten seconds, remove. let cool a bit before simply peeling off the skins and removing the core w/ a paring knife. i stuffed my peeled whole tomatoes in a 1 quart mason jar (juice and all) and left them in the fridge for a day till i made the sauce.
--if you are in a hurry, you may want to put your water on to boil first so your pasta is cooking at the same time you are making the sauce. also, we think this recipe goes best with a penne, riggatoni or stozzapreti (macaroni type) noodle--
In your pan combine oil, red pepper, salt and garlic. place on a burner and heat to med-high, just until the aroma rises. the idea is not to brown the garlic, though i have before and it was delicious anyway, so don’t get too bummed if you do! at the amazingly fragrant point, add your tomatoes and any juice. i crush each tomato by hand into the pan, for a squishy chunky effect. you could also roughly chop up on an cutting board and dump into the sauce. stir and saute for a few minutes on a medium heat (or until your pasta is done). remove sauce from heat, carefully taste and add more salt if needed. stir in lemon zest, dump on pasta, top with fresh ground pepper and parmesan and serve piping hot!
btw: it’s a good idea to make enough for leftovers, this is delicious served cold the next day!