There’s an italian restaurant in Atlanta called Sotto Sotto and it’s just brilliant. One of my favorite dishes there is fettuccine with heirloom tomato sauce (all the pasta is fresh, of course). The first time I had it, it took me a few bites to really get it. The sauce is not the big bold taste that most bright red tomato sauces have, this sauce was more subtle. As I ate, the flavor of the fresh heirloom tomatoes built and by the end I was just wowed by the flavor and balance. So little was added to the tomatoes that I really tasted them and their summery glory.

I had some heirloom tomatoes lying around from a farmers market trip the other day so I decided to try my hand at recreating the dish. Rather than get the exact same taste/texture as the sauce at Sotto Sotto, my goal was to really bring out the flavor of the tomatoes. I think it turned out pretty darn tasty. The amounts listed below will plate up about 3-4 plates of pasta, so adjust as necessary.

ingredients

3-4 Heirloom tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 large yellow or vidalia onion (I used vidalia)
a pinch of rosemary
Not pictured: 2 tsp cornstarch

 

heirloom-tomatoes-

 

Start by heating the olive oil in a pan or pot on the stove. While the oil is heating, chop up the garlic and onion. Add the garlic and onion to the pot.

stewed tomatoes

While those at sauteing, roughly chop up the tomatoes. When the onions are nice and translucent, add the tomatoes to the pot, along with some salt and the rosemary.

Give everything a good stir and bring everything up to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 8 – 10 minutes. I just checked periodically until a lot of liquid had seeped out and the tomatoes were kind of broken down.

 

food mill

 

Set up a food mill, food processor or blender and process the tomato mixture until you have a fairly smooth sauce.

 

finished sauce

The sauce will be decently thin at this point, so pour the smooth tomato mix back into the pot, stir in the cornstarch, and reduce until you get the texture you want. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

final with fork

Now, I subscribe to the school of thought in which most tomato sauces taste better the next day, so I transferred the pasta to a glass container (it will stain plastic) and let it sit in the fridge overnight before serving. When I was ready to eat the sauce, I heated it up on the stove, tested for seasoning again (salt/pepper, if needed) and then just spooned it onto the pasta.

Speaking of pasta, I had fresh angel hair pasta sitting in my freezer, so I cooked that up. Remember, fresh pasta cooks insanely fast, so everything else has to be ready when it goes in the water, including the colander for for draining the water, or it will overcook.

So now that we have the pasta ready as well, spoon some sauce over the pasta and toss it in noodles to cover all the strands. Then spoon some more on top and grate some fresh parm over the pasta. Pretty and tasty!

 


Heirloom Tomato Sauce
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 3-4 Heirloom tomatoes, large
  • 1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ large yellow or vidalia onion
  • a pinch of rosemary
  • Not pictured: 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Start by heating the olive oil in a pan or pot on the stove. While the oil is heating, chop up the garlic and onion. Add the garlic and onion to the pot.
  2. While those at sauteing, roughly chop up the tomatoes. When the onions are nice and translucent, add the tomatoes to the pot, along with some salt and the rosemary.
  3. Give everything a good stir and bring everything up to a simmer. Cover and let cook for about 8 - 10 minutes, until the tomatoes start to break down.
  4. Set up a food mill, food processor or blender and process the tomato mixture until you have a fairly smooth sauce.
  5. The sauce will be decently thin at this point, so pour the smooth tomato mix back into the pot, stir in the cornstarch, and reduce until you get the texture you want. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Spoon some sauce over pasta and toss it in noodles to cover all the strands. Then spoon some more on top and grate some fresh parm over the pasta. Pretty and tasty!
Notes
The sauce is even better after it has been sitting, so making it a day ahead of time is encouraged.