Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Staples: Pomi Strained Tomatoes

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 2:21 PM

click to enlarge pomistrainedtomatoes.jpg
In most parts of Italy, canned tomatoes and tomato paste aren't used nearly as often as passato di pomodoro, a delicious and versatile product that's not well known in this country. The homemade version is made by simmering ripe, peak-season tomatoes to a pulp, then passing them through a sieve to strain out the seeds and skins and make a smooth puree. Traditionally, the puree would then be canned, though these days it's more likely to go in the deep freeze. But most modern Italians just buy the stuff at the supermarket.

The best brand avaialble locally is Pomi (made by Parmalat, best known for its milk products), which is 100% tomatoes, no salt, preservatives, or seasonings. Even homemade sauce made from peak-season plum tomatoes would be hard-pressed to match the intense, rich flavor of this puree, which is superior to any canned tomatoes or tomato paste I've had, imported or domestic. Pomi's skinned and seedless chopped tomatoes are similar but have a chunky rather than smooth texture. Both come in 750-gram (26 oz.) boxes. Most places charge around $4 a box, but shop around and you can find it for closer to (and sometimes under) $3. I don't recommend the Pomi marinara sauce.

A good way to appreciate the flavor is with this super-simple pasta sauce:

Simple Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp. finely diced onion

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 box Pomi strained or chopped tomatoes

a few basil leaves or sprigs of marjoram, oregano, or thyme (optional)

salt to taste

Saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the tomato,

herb, and salt. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, uncovered. Adjust salt. Serve on spaghetti with freshly-grated Parmesan.

Variations: crushed red pepper and/or garlic with the onion; add 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley with the tomatoes.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Robert Lauriston

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"