Amy and Jonny's recipe called for a cream and butter topping. Now I love that stuff as much as the next person, and initally planned to make them this way, but I ended up taking a different turn after spending some time in the country, viewing the last of summer's bounty at the farms and watching recent episodes of The Cooking Loft. There are still plentiful homegrown tomatoes everywhere, and this is the perfect time of year for making tomatoes into sauce now that the fruits are more mature and softer. Seeing Alex Guarnaschelli make a fresh tomato sauce on her show last week made me realize I should do a sauce while I still have time. She used yellow tomatoes in her recipes. I'm the classic type and stuck with red. I did use her idea of straining the seeds to get the extra juice out. She put rice wine vinegar in her sauce and I like to use white wine.
I started my recipe exactly was dictated in the We Are Never Full Recipe.
My sauce (or as my father would insist, gravy) bubbling on the stove, ready to be poured over)
I made a good call when I boiled the milk and semolina and thought it seemed custard like because the finished product also had a nice custard-like texture. It's quite a deviation from what one would traditionally consider gnocchi, but WANF points out that gnocchi have a long history and have been made in many different ways. However, you will never convince me that stale bread baked with tomato sauce is gnocchi.
The Short (dis)Order Cook's Fresh Tomato Sauce
8 good-sized red tomatoes
4 Tbl olive oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, sliced
4 shallots, finely diced
1/4 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup white wine
Have a bowl of ice water handy. Core the tomatoes and score an X into the bottom of each one. Place tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes or until the skin at the X looks like it's starting to pull away. Remove tomatoes and plunge into ice water. Skins should peel of easily.
Cut tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. Put the seeds through a sieve to press out the juice. Chop tomatoes coarsely.
Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add red pepper flakes, shallots, and garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant. Add tomatoes, juice, and sugar. Cook the tomatoes until they have fallen apart and the sauce isn't super chunky. Add basil
Carefully place your cooked tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Blend in white wine.
Serve with your favorite pasta.