Wednesday, February 07, 2007

'STRATTU


'Strattu or estratto di pomodoro [tomato extract] is similar to the Greek tomato paste you can buy in tins in Britain, but it has a richer taste and is thicker. In summer skinned, seeded tomatoes are salted and laid out on wooden tables or boards [or in containers on balconies] to dry in the sun. During this process, the purée is stirred constantly for however many days it takes to obtain a texture resembling that of clay. Then it is put into preserving jars and covered with oil.

I don't think it's worth making it unless you have a source of home-grown tomatoes, as it can be bought easily, by weight, in shops and supermarkets these days. I like to compare the different shades of red in the various stores. The photo shows some that I bought this morning and this is how I like it: nearly black in colour, so thick that you could turn the container upside-down and the paste will not move and smelling not only of tomatoes but very definitely of the sun. Incidentally, I tried to make it once in Britain during what passes, there, for a hot summer. But that northern sun is just not hot enough to dry the purée out, for all our cries of "What a scorcher!"
I do make my own tomato sauce and always add a dollop of 'strattu to the mixture.

13 comments:

Lee said...

I can just imagine the aroma and the taste of the home-dried tomatoes, Welsh...but as you say, unless you have a large supply of your own tomatoes it's easy to purchase from a store...but I bet the flavour would be worth doing it yourself. I've never tried doing so.

Lee said...

I meant to say...every day is a happy birthday...well...it is, if you really want to look at it that way...each day we are a year older...each second, we are...so happy each second birthday...ummm...that didn't quite come out right! Happy Every Birthsecond! ;)

james higham said...

Isn't that interesting. I was just laying some 'tomatnaya pasta' on some bread right now to make a mini-pizza before going to work. Could you send me some of yours through cyberspace?

Ellee said...

I bet it's tasty. I think if I wrote about food I cooked, I would soon lose all my readers.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Lee, I agree with you. We should celebrate every possible moment. James, sending some over right now!
Ellee, I'm sure you wouldn't!

CityUnslicker said...

This looks great. It is so hard to get hold of any decent passatta or good tomato puree. Shame becuase food certainly tastes better with it!

james higham said...

WCL, don't miss Girlpower tomorrow evening.

Ellee said...

I think James has got you lined up for tomorrow night by the sound of it. Pity we can't share a nice Italian meal and some wine while we read and enjoy it together.

Hope Simi is well.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

c/u, I've never understood why most UK supermarkets only stock the purée and not the tomato paste. James, I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Colin Campbell said...

You can find this here in Adelaide, because of the very large Italian community. Unfortunately I seem to end up shopping in the supermarkets most of the time due to time pressures. I really like to be reminded of the link to the original products rather than the marketing and presentation that sucks us all in. Your posts on food are always interesting.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Colin. That's interesting - I didn't know you had a large Italian community there. Glad you like my food posts - thank you.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ellee, you never know who James has got lined up! He's always interesting, though, isn't he? I'll be with you in spirit this evening!

Ballpoint Wren said...

It looks awfully good to me.

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