Playing Scott Conant's Pomodoro Sauce

In honor of the San Gennaro Festival, an annual New York City tradition of 11 days of Italian food and fun on the streets of Little Italy, one of Rach's favorite Italian chefs Scott Conant stops by to make some super-satisfying Veal and Pork Meatball Sandwiches, which get assembled using this delicious garlic-and basil-infused Pomodoro Sauce.

Expert Tip! If using canned tomatoes, run them through a food mill before using to get rid of the seeds.

Ingredients
  • 5 pounds plum tomatoes, cored
  • ½ tablespoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • ¼ bunch basil
Yield
Serves: Makes 2 quarts
Preparation

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch tomatoes and then transfer immediately to an ice water bath.

Remove tomato skins and discard. Deseed the tomatoes in a bowl, then strain the liquid from the seeds through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid; discard seeds. Mix peeled tomatoes, reserved juice, and salt in a large bowl.

Place garlic in a saucepan and cover with olive oil. Cook over very low heat till garlic is golden and soft. Strain and reserve oil.

In a large, heavy bottom stock pot, put the garlic oil and chili flakes over low heat for about 2 minutes, blooming the chili flakes. Add the salted tomatoes and liquid and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a slight boil and skim any foam that rises to the top. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher, until reduced by one-quarter, 25 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Remove the sauce from the heat and submerge basil to infuse the sauce as it cools.