Shop bought tomatoes are usually vile. “Vine tomatoes” are even viler because insult is added to injury by being charged double for the same tasteless product with a piece of stalk attached.
The only tomatoes worth eating in this country are those you grow yourself. We are picking ours now and they have a deep intense flavour which I find irresistible and so tomatoes are dominating my eating right now.
Here’s my recipe for a simple tomato sauce to go with pasta:
Pick 8 good sized tomatoes. They must be dark red in colour. The redder and squishier the better. When tomatoes are used in a sauce they must be skinned, but nothing could be easier. Bring a pan of water to the boil, drop in the tomatoes, count to ten and remove them. The skins will slip off. Chop up the tomatoes, removing any bits which are green or hard. Then put some olive oil into a frying pan and slowly cook one large chopped onion and one chopped clove of garlic. When they are soft throw in the tomatoes. After a couple of minutes of fairly fierce cooking add a large piece of salted butter . Let it all bubble away while the spaghetti is being cooked. The salt in the butter and the salt in the spaghetti water is all the seasoning you’ll need. I always add a knob of butter to the spaghetti after it has been drained. Don’t worry if you’ve run out of parmesan- it doesn’t need it.
This dish is simplicity itself, and is the epitome of Slow Food, even though the preparation and cooking time is only a quarter of an hour.
If you don’t fancy spaghetti, the sauce is delicious as a topping on thick toast- I think the Italians call it crostini