Really Raw Tomato Sauce
I went all of July without blogging. I’m embarrassed. It’s the first month I’ve skipped since this project began, with the move, last September. I meant to explain my absense. But the days, and meals, got away from me. I have the pictures to prove it. I left Corvallis June 30 and won’t return until this weekend. Since then, I’ve eaten my way through Vancouver and Halifax in Canada, Maine, the South Shore of Boston and New York, and all over South Africa. But I still miss the simple pleasures of the kitchen. I missed farmers’ market and garden produce during one of Oregon’s most bountiful, albeit alarmingly HOT, months. Will any of my neglected tomato plants wait to ripen for me? Did those bush beans, so sloppily sown, ever sprout?
After rich restaurant meals in foreign cities, I’m taking comfort in fresh, simple flavors. I’ve only now thrown myself, headlong, into the pleasures of summer tomatoes this week visiting family in Charlottesville, Va. Ah, the joys of delayed gratification: months of forgoing tasteless, but still tempting, winter tomatoes now yields its reward. Tomatoes this fresh and sweet don’t need adulteration. A little garlic, olive oil, a pinch of salt, a chiffonade of basil, that will do. I’ve craved these raw tomatoes. My husband was suffering from pasta withdrawal. So Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce was the only thing to make. Make endless variations with different cheeses and herbs. And the roma tomatoes I bought 15 for $1, madae this dish quite economical.
I fell in love with the preparation several years ago after reading Gael Greene’s description of the simple dish in her memoir. And she’s right: “only the best summer tomatoes will do.”