Our Sicilian-style sauce is a thick blend of crushed yellow and red bell peppers and tomatoes, complemented with chopped onion and eggplant. Its flavour is reminiscent of both ratatouille and caponata.
Our Sicilian tomato sauce is the ideal companion for another regional specialty: the fried rice balls known as arancini. Simply add ground meat and green peas to turn the sauce into the famous Sicilian ragù, delicious in lasagna or with cannellonis. Or why not try a Basque chicken recipe for a change? Authentically Italian pasta dishes are not served swimming in sauce. Average proportions are 375 mL (1 ½ cup) tomato sauce for 500 g (1 lb) pasta. Don't throw away all your pasta cooking water: it's a good idea to add a bit to your sauce. Mix in ¼ to ½ cup (or a ladleful) cooking water with the sauce before adding the pasta. The salted, starchy water will enhance flavours and thicken the sauce, helping it stick to the pasta.
Nothing rivals with the taste of Italian tomatoes ripened under the Mediterranean sun and seasoned with fresh, locally grown aromatics. If our sauces have a velvety texture, comparable to a homemade sauce, it is partly because they are prepared in small batches and cooked over an open flame, the same technique traditionally used by Italian mammas, allowing the water to evaporate gradually.
The De Laurentiis family owns an artisanal business in the Abruzzo mountain region. For two generations, it has been drawing on traditional ingredients and know-how to offer products with an authentically Italian taste. The family grows organic tomatoes, saffron and other seasonings on its own plots of land, and turns them into sauces and condiments thanks to a veritable regiment of cooks who busily tend the ovens.
Roccascalegna, Abruzzo, Italy.
History and anecdotes
Sicilian tomato sauce is used in pasta alla Norma, a recipe originally from Catana, Sicily. Legend has it the dish owes its name to filmmaker Nino Martoglio, who compared it to Vincenzo Bellini's opera Norma.