The Italian Effect

How to make Italian tomato sauce

summer traditions: making tomato sauce

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Non è estate senza la preparazione della salsa di pomodoro. Una bellissima tradizione che va avanti da secoli e che accomuna tante regioni d’Italia soprattutto quelle meridionali e che coinvolge tutta la famiglia dai più piccoli ai più anziani. La salsa, o pummarola, passata, sugo, come viene chiamata in diversi luoghi, è molto più di una semplice ricetta. È storia, tradizione, identità, condivisione ma anche un’arte.


It is not summer without the preparation of tomato sauce. A beautiful tradition that has been going on for centuries and that unites many regions of Italy, especially the southern ones, and that involves the whole family from the youngest to the oldest. Salsa, or pummarola, passata, sugo, as it is called in several places, is much more than a simple recipe. It is history, tradition, identity, sharing but also an art.


How to make Italian tomato sauce?

The preparation of the sauce is quite simple. Italians choose fleshy, well-ripe tomatoes, for example the classic San Marzano. How to make a tomato sauce? We wash the tomatoes, cut them in half and put them on medium heat in a saucepan. In this first phase, the tomatoes are slowly crushed. 


After a while, the tomatoes begin to lose water and soften, so they must be cooked for an hour. At this stage, we add other ingredients, such as basil, onion, peperoncino, oregano, oil, salt. The cooking of the tomatoes ends when they are well flaked. 


At this point, we use manual vegetable mills or electric tomato presses to make sauce. Then we combine the sauce in a saucepan and put it on the stove for about 15 minutes. Past we fill the jars with the sauce and put them to boil in order to allow the long life of the preserves.




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I’m an Italian language teacher and an author of guides about Puglia where I live. I help you speak Italian confidently through my 1:1 programs and group speaking classes so you can get more from your travels to Italy and feel in Italy like at home. You can live Italian and experience the southern Italy life on my language retreats in Puglia.