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Tony Vallone

No matter what brand you use – canned or fresh – a tomato should taste like a giardino in bocca, a garden of flavors on the palate!

absolutely! DELICIOUS

with

By Tony Vallone

absolutely! Delicious

N

ow that the summer and fresh tomato season are over, it’s time to start using canned tomatoes again for tomato-based pasta sauces, like the homemade spaghetti we serve here at Vallone’s with canned San Marzano tomatoes from Italy – the best kind of tomatoes, in my opinion. Here at the restaurant, we use San Marzano tomatoes that I import myself especially for all of my restaurants. But, there are many great brands of canned tomatoes that you can get at your local supermarkets such as Central Market and H-E-B. When you’re shopping for canned tomatoes for sauces, look for tomatoes that are rich, thick and naturally “garden” sweet. Avoid tomatoes to which sugar or water has been added. A lot of canned tomatoes sold in the United States appear to be Italian. But, be sure to look carefully at the label. Many are not, in fact, imported. In general, Italian brands are the best. After all, the Italians eat canned tomatoes every day nearly nine months out of the year! Make sure the label says “product of Italy,” and look out for “San Marzano” tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes are from the area around Naples, which is famous for its volcanic soils and Mediterranean sun, the ideal conditions for growing tomatoes rich in flavor and natural sugar. They are the very core of the Neapolitan kitchen. American canned tomatoes are often water packed, and they can be unripe and bitter. That’s why many brands have sugar added to them. Sugar is a proper ingredient in any good tomato sauce, but it must be used judiciously. That’s one of the reasons why you want to look for tomatoes to which no sugar has been added. If you still have your heart set on fresh tomatoes, look for Nature Sweet Cherubs tomatoes. I have no connection to the brand, but that’s what I use at home when I want fresh tomatoes in fall and winter. These little grape tomatoes are always sweet, and one package will serve an entire family. H-E-B carries Nature Sweet Cherubs and has a great selection of Italian products in general. I have no connection to H-E-B; I just like to shop there. Email Tony@VallonesHouston.com to submit a food-related question to Tony.

Homemade Spaghetti with San Marzano tomatoes, pancetta and basil at Vallone’s.

www.absolutelymemorial.com l OCTOBER 2015

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Profile for absolutely! Memorial Magazine

October 2015 - Absolutely Memorial Magazine  

Community magazine absolutely highlighting the people, events, happenings, businesses and town of Memorial Area, Texas.

October 2015 - Absolutely Memorial Magazine  

Community magazine absolutely highlighting the people, events, happenings, businesses and town of Memorial Area, Texas.

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