By Rosa Galeno
Will Bonsall excels at repurposing ancient wisdom for practical use, and his mastery may feel a bit daunting to the rest of us. But with this recipe, local cook Rosa Galeno reminds us that we can start small; why not do as her father did and uproot whole tomato plants for indoor ripening when cool weather comes?
I grew up in southern Italy, where summers linger and the winters are windy, cold, and rainy. Thanks to my parents’ devotion to food preservation, my family enjoyed the fruits of summer and fall all winter long.
In the fall, my father returned from “working the land,” as he would say, bearing armfuls of green cherry tomato plants. He would hang them over a rope, roots and all, to ripen over time. Basil was placed in the coolest part of the house and preserved in our region’s salt. My mother’s braided garlic was hung by our front door. As a family, we produced our own olive oil. We lived on one ton per year, which sounds like a lot—but when you use olive oil for almost everything, a ton is barely enough.
While my father entertained us by making us guess what treats he had brought home from a day’s work, my mother would be finishing up the most delicious, yet humble, supper. The memories stir up the warmth of a family well-loved and well-fed year-round.
Sarataciniello, also known as friendship sauce, is my favorite recipe as it reminds me of my childhood. What sets it apart is the use of cherry tomatoes. They have the thick pulp, soft seeds, and tender skins necessary for a smooth and flavorful sauce: I use fresh in summer and home-preserved all winter. The sauce is delicious every time.
Read the Recipe inspired by the story: SARATACINIELLO
Rosa Galeno grew up in southern Italy, where summers linger and the winters are windy, cold, and rainy.