Published July 1, 1993.
Uncooked tomato sauces marry the aromatic flavors of ripe tomatoes with just a hint of other ingredients.
The venue was to use raw tomatoes in uncooked sauces. We would need to learn how to maximize the singular flavor and texture of raw tomatoes and to ascertain what "less is more" means when it comes to working with them, including such ticklers as whether to peel them or not, whether to seed them or not, and whether refrigerating a finished sauce is a viable alternative.
The season for homegrown tomatoes is fleeting. There are innumerable ways to cook them, but cooking is not always the preferred option, especially when the thermometer is hovering around 90 degrees. We wanted to use ripe tomatoes raw and not in the obvious way--sliced in salads or sandwiches. What, we wondered, was the best way to do that?
We discovered that peeling tomatoes for raw sauces is optional and that seeding causes them to lose much of their juice. For an uncooked sauce--especially one for pasta--we wanted as much juice as possible so we made seeding an optional step, too. We found that salting, which some cooks like to do to intensify the tomatoes' 'flavor and to draw out their juices, only made the tomatoes saltier. We also found that when our tomatoes were less than perfect, a pinch of sugar sprinkled on after dicing boosted their flavor significantly. Speaking of flavor, refrigerating a finished raw tomato sauce robs it of flavor.list of recipes