Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tomato Pulp

We love making pizzas and calzones with fresh from the farmer's market ingredients and delicious varieties of cheese...but we absolutely hate the soggy crusts and mushy toppings which pizza sauce so often causes. Then, we discovered...tomato pulp! This easy, fresh addition will add serious pizazz to your pizza, plus leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a week (great for quick pasta lunches!) or canned for a taste of summer this winter. It is essential to use ripe tomatoes for the pulp, but its not necessary to use the "prettiest" tomatoes. We've had really great results using slightly bruised and ugly heirloom tomatoes (dirt cheap at your local farmer's market, right before the vendors pack up to leave!) You can also play around with the different varieties of tomatoes in order to create sweet, tart or colored pulps.
Full Recipe and details after the jump...
What's Guerrilla: Tomato pulp is easy to make and easy to save. It's uses are nearly unlimited, pizza or calzone sauce, pasta sauce, a sandwich spread...etc. And, as mentioned earlier, it's the flavor quality of the tomatoes that matters, not necessarily the visual quality, so tomato pulp is a great utilizer of ugly and almost over-ripened tomatoes. What's Gourmet: This tomato pulp pops with seasonal flavor and intense citrus notes. The vibrancy of the slow braised tomatoes is reminiscent of summertime and sun-dried tomatoes, and can be used to accent any number of complex flavors in entree dishes. The Minutia: Don't freak out when you make the pulp, because you're basically cooking down a pound or so of tomatoes into a half cup of pulp. The pulp is incredibly rich and you really can use a lot less than your typical tomato sauce! This recipe yields sufficient pulp to lightly sauce for either two calzones or a 14-16 inch pizza, with dipping sauce for the crusts while your eating. You can always double, triple or quadruple the recipe (your only limitation being availability and pan size!) if you want to ensure leftovers. The Means: 1 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes -We use Early Girls or SF Fogs, but any ripe tomatoes will do! 3 tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive Oil 1-2 cloves of minced garlic * 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes * 1 teaspoon of oregeno * Salt and Pepper to taste * These ingredients are optional, but strongly encouraged! The Method: * Blanch, peel, seed and drain the tomatoes. (I use the Dame Child's method.) * Smush tomatoes with either a) food processor, b) potato masher or c) hands! I am an obvious fan of option "C," but you can use which ever method you prefer so long as the tomatoes are blended into a chunky puree. * Mix in red pepper flakes, oregeno, salt and pepper and set aside. * Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic becomes fragrant and soft, but not browned (roughly 1-3 minutes.) * Add tomato puree and simmer, uncovered, stiring occasionally, until almost all the liquid is evaporated. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the tomatoes and the heat...just be patient, it's totally worth it. You'll know your done when you drag the spoon through the pulp and the liquid does not "fall" into the spoon canyon. Check your seasoning throughout, adding salt and pepper as needed. * Once the pulp is done, allow to rest and come to room temperature before using. You can refrigerate the pulp for up to a week (always remember to bring it to room temp. before using!) or jar it for longer preservation.


ezsrecipes said...

Hi there, I just made stuffed tomatoes for dinner and didn't want the pulpy insides to go to waste. I googled, and found your blog. I am going to try this with the pulp! I will likely post this on my blog but I will link back to yours. Thanks for sharing this! I will check back on your blog again!

Tif said...

Hi Emily,

I'm so glad you liked the recipe and let us know when and if you post the recipe and we'll be happy to include a link to it from our blog. I have to admit I came up with this in part because I hate to waste anything - especially something as delicious as tomatoes!

Happy eating,