Salsa di pomodoro with Vittorio

A couple days ago, I had a “date” with Vittorio yet again. This time he showed me how he makes Salsa di Pomodoro also known as Tomato sauce or even Marinara sauce.

There are so many different variations as to how to make the classic tomato sauce, and perhaps it varies from family to family or region to region. 

This recipe that I’ll share with you today is perfect if you haven’t got a lot of time on your hands or if you are in somewhat in a hurry.

For this recipe you don’t need to peel the tomatoes and you don’t need some sort of special machine. You do need however, a mini hand held blender which is called “pin” in Italian.

You can use any variety of tomatoes for this recipe, just keep in mind, the more mature the tomato ( very red) the better it is for your sauce. Vittorio explained to me that when using tomatoes to make a sauce, the redder the tomato the less acidic it is. He is so knowledgeable.

I am meeting Bruna, who is Vittorio’s older sister next week sometime to learn her secrets to homemade sauces. She prefers to peel the tomatoes by hand which is an even longer process and I can’t wait to share with all of you the differences..

Salso di Pomodoro 

1kg of tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic chopped

Olive Oil

2 White onions chopped

1 Whole dried chilli pepper ( broken in half)

1 Leek sliced

Salt and Pepper


Fresh Basil

Handheld blender ( pin in italian)

Even though this is an easier recipe, you’ll still need about 2-3 hours from start to finish which includes cooking time.

Salsa di Pomodoro is usually made in July and August in Italy. It’s a great Summer sauce to make as the tomatoes are in season.

I have taken step by step photos as I have always found it easier to learn a new recipe while looking at photos.

Put a good amount of Olive Oil in the pan ( 2 fingers) Chop two white onions and put in pan

Don’t worry if you aren’t great at chopping onions, doesn’t have to be perfect.

Break in half a dried chili pepper if you like things a little spicy but not too much.

Add one leek, sliced and put on top of onions and pepper

Chop the tomatoes and throw in the pan.

Fill the pan with tomatoes all the way up. And remember the redder the tomato the better.

Add a couple spoonfuls of oregano

Slice 3 cloves of garlic and place on top of tomatoes.

If you like you can add 3 chunks of grana padano on top like so. Parmigiano works too.

To the left is Pappa al Pomodoro and to the right is Salsa di Pomodoro… Talk about a multitasker. Fill the top with cherry or datterino tomatoes. No need to cut in half.

Just a peek at how organized Vittorio!

Put on medium heat and check it about every thirty minutes, stirring.

I took this photo after it being on medium high for thirty minutes.

After an hour and a half, you can take your mini hand held blender and blend the tomatoes like you see Vittorio doing. After you let it cook a bit longer.

Frothy goodness..

When its done, it will be about half the size of this.. I wasn’t able to stay the whole three hours. Once done, chop up a few leaves of fresh basil and add.

When it’s cooled down you can put it in jars and put it in the freezer. You’ll have a great Tomato Sauce that you can use year round.

Did you try Vittorio’s Pappa al Pomodoro? If you have please tag your photos #inspiredinitaly. I would love to see the photos and I will happily post them on my Inspired in Italy Facebook page.

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