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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Italian Salsa Cruda (Raw Tomato Sauce)

Lately, I have been really into finding and making authentic recipes from all different types of cuisines.  This recipe caught my eye because I have a lot of fresh basil and parsley growing my my garden, and in another week I will have a whole bunch of ripe tomatoes.  One of my favorite flavor combinations are garlic, basil and tomatoes, so I knew I would love this recipe.  It comes Teresa Giudice's new cookbook "Skinny Italian."  If you recognize her name, it might be because she is on the show "Housewives of New Jersey." (and just because I know of her cookbook does not mean I am admitting to watching the show!:)  Ok, maybe I have once or twice..).  She comes from a large Italian family, so her recipes are authentic, but not your usual, heavy, Italian fare.  She uses fresh herbs, olive oil, garlic, and sometimes peppers for flavor, so you won't even miss the typical 2 inches of melted cheese on top!  I promise!
The key to this recipe is using quality ingredients.  Vine ripened tomatoes, olive oil that actually comes from Italy, (very important, so sweet and mild), FRESH basil and parsley, and freshly shredded Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese.
Parmigiano Reggiano is authentic Parmesan cheese, made in Italy and aged to perfection, at least 18 months.  It has a deep, nutty flavor that just makes this dish.  It is more expensive, but because the flavor is so wonderful, you don't have to use much of it and it will keep in your refrigerator for at least a month if tightly wrapped.
If you skimp on the quality of your ingredients, this dish WILL NOT be the same.  Buy the good stuff!
Italian Salsa Cruda
3 large, ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2" dice
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated

Toss all but cheese together with your hands--like the Italians do!
Let stand for 30 minutes.
Serve over noodles, or on toasted slices of baguette.  Top with cheese.

This post is linked to:
Show Off Your Stuff @ Fireflies & Jellybeans

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