This is a recipe that I’ve been toying with for a bit. I had a calamari dish at The Little Owl recently that keeps popping into my head. It was served in a tomato and basil sauce that was amazing. I wanted a whole bowl of just the broth. I had some cherry tomatoes from my CSA which I used the first time I made it. It came out so good, I wish I had more tomatoes. After that I started saving my CSA tomatoes so I could make a larger batch. I still don’t know what pasta to serve it with. I think Raffetto’s raviolis may be the best so far but I can’t tell if it’s just cause they are so tasty on their own.
I had planned on breading and frying the eggplant I received this week but my sister recommended this recipe from my favorite food news source, Tasting Table. Arancini are fried Italian rice balls. I made these last night and they were tasty and really unique. I used the tomato sauce to dip them in.
Fresh Tomato Sauce
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
About 2lbs tomatoes, I used an assortment
1 clove of garlic minced
1 cup chicken stock
About 2 tablespoons basil, I used about 10 small leaves of purple basil
A dash crushed red pepper
Cut larger tomatoes into quarters and smaller ones into halves.
Add them to a pot with some olive oil, cover and heat over medium low heat. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes start to breakdown and skins start to shrivel.
I passed the tomatoes through a food mill. I hate tomato skins and seeds, so the food mill is the best option. You can also use a blender. Mine made about 2 cups of puree.
Return empty pot to the heat. Add more oil and cook garlic for about 30 seconds. Add in tomato puree, chicken stock, basil and crushed red pepper. Simmer for 3o minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
You can find the recipe here. I used a bunch of small eggplant which were a pain to peel, I’m sure large ones would be much easier. The finer the cooked eggplant was chopped the better it stayed together when breading and frying.
I used homemade breadcrumbs for the breading. I served these with the tomato sauce above and topped with grated parmesan.