These past few weeks I have spent my nights dreaming about the sun, a warm climate and lighter clothing. Why? Because it has been a gloomy couple of months here in Norway. When the snow doesn’t even show it’s hard not to dream about a more southern way of life. Which is why I had to make my variation of the Italian tomato sauce.
This Italian Tomato Sauce is a recipe I wanted to include in the Norwegian recipe challenge where this months subject is Italy. What better way to devote the first post of the month to Italy and their wonderful citrus fruits? This months theme is started by Thomas behind the blog ‘Kokebloggen‘. He has written a beautiful article about Italian food and its many differences. It is nothing but inspirational to say the least (in Norwegian). During this month I will create a list below with several, inspirational recipes from other participants- Can’t wait!
I’ve spent many of my summers in Italy, mostly because my family loves the culture- and food there. The beautiful landscape of Tuscany surrounded with fruit of all shapes and sizes- vinyards everywhere, flustered with ripe grapes ready to harvest. I keep remembering this one time, where we stayed at a wonderful bed & breakfast in Tuscany and we decided to go for a stroll in the evening. As we walked down the rugged path we saw a glittering movement in the bushes right next to us. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that it was fireflies- the most beautiful thing I’ve ever since. They flew there, like sparkles- illuminating the night for us, making it a magical experience.
Back to this Italian Tomato Sauce- which is a basic staple food in Italy and which most of us know well. Did you know that it is incredibly easy to make at home? All you need is some lovely extra virgin olive oil, onion, canned tomatoes and balsamico vinegar. To this recipe I’ve added dates to sweeten it up a bit, as well as black beans to make the whole thing a nutritious, lovely meal. Dates go really well together with the bitterness of the tomatoes- I would be so bold and say that you can serve a couple of dates on the side as well. It is wonderful!
When it comes to tomatoes there is two ways to cook it; You either leave it for a short 10 minutes- or a good 40++. 10 minutes if you have wonderfully fresh tomatoes, but 40+ if you have tinned ones. I’d like to leave it to simmer for a while as I feel the flavors will be more complex this way.
Oh- and I think my mom is awfully tired of being my hand-model! Do you have a favorite place to spend the summer?
Italian Tomato Sauce with Dates & Black Beans
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3 canned tomatoes, chopped
5 dates, roughly chopped (core removed)
1 pot of basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp balsamico vinegar
- Finely chop the onions and garlic clove
- Heat a saucepan with olive oil.
- Add the onion and garlic and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add basil, dates and balsamic vinegar
- Let simmer for 45-60 minutes.
- With a hand mixer, pulse until the dates have dissolved into the sauce.
- Season to taste- add more dates if you would like a sweeter sauce- or have a couple for serving.