Vine ripened cherry tomatoes

This post dates from 2010 I think. The good old days. For some reason I never published it, but as I’m clearing out my drafts folder here it is:

Had an abundance of  cherry tomatoes ripen all at once in the vegie garden. There were too many for me to eat normally and so I decided to cook them up and store them. I set to work without a particular recipe to mind, instead, as I commonly do, working instinctively according to what feels right. In this instance I chose to take advantage of the things growing in my garden and ready to go.

I cooked up a finely chopped onion with crushed garlic and plenty of chilli in a combination of olive oil and butter on a medium heat, until the onion was near translucent. Into that I popped the cherry tomatoes I’d rinsed off, but otherwise not touched.I’m not big on cherry tomatoes in a salad (not big on salads really), but reckon they are great to cook with. A good cherry tomato has a more intense taste than a run of the mill tomato, something I think the Italians are well aware of.

So anyway the tomatoes are heating through with a few sprigs of rosemary from the garden, bubbling gently, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to collapse. Close to hand was a half empty bottle of good Shiraz I’d had a glass from the night before. I love cooking with red wine. It adds a rich depth of flavour like nothing else does, and so I added a liberal slop of it to the pot, then a little more just for luck – almost a cup in total. Just to be civilised I also added in about half a cup of water, then seasoned it with fresh ground black pepper and salt. I let that cook slowly until it had reduced by about 80%, leaving a syrupy, intensely flavoured, dark red sauce that had me doing a Jamie Oliver with the first taste of it. It’s the best sauce of that type I’ve ever had. Seriously.

I wouldn’t normally record such a simple recipe as this, except that it really is that good – and so versatile. You can serve it as it is with pasta (shits all over traditional napolitana sauce), or use it as a base for a multitude of dishes. The reduction of fresh tomatoes and wine makes for a full flavoured, decadent sauce, sweetened by the rosemary, and given some spikiness with the chilli.

I’m going to use it in tonight’s dinner of eggplant parmigiana, made with Japanese panko breadcrumbs. De-lish!

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