The rumbling of the sauce, the jingling sound of glass jars, calling and laughing voices, the busy hands. The intense scent of basil, knives that effortlessly cut the red fruits with precision and dedication that has now become a habit. And then the sweat, close to the kettle because each jar must be vacuum-sealed along with the others, protected by rags so that they do not break. It is the extended family, made up of parents and children, cousins, uncles, friends who gather in the courtyards for an expected and indispensable ritual, it is the joy of the little ones that, with the distracted adults, receive an unusual freedom as a gift. It is the photograph of so many summers in the Sorrento Peninsula, our children’s summers, a memory so alive and vivid in the mind that flashes before the eyes, but also through mouth, nose, and ears, which stimulates all the senses.
Today, as it has always been, tomatoes are the main character in the dishes during the hottest months.
Sweet, acidic, sour, scented of the southern sun. Yellow, green red, ripe and juicy. Plum, Del Piennolo, Beefsteak, San Marzano. A rich range of varieties, textures, and flavours.
Our personal homage to this beloved gift of the land is the three tomato risotto.
Risotto with yellow tomato served with a San Marzano tomato sauce and accompanied by a Beefsteak tomato salad. All this is enhanced by paddlefish soup, marinated in sugar and salt and garnished with a black olive and chocolate pesto.
The ingredients are those of tradition, in addition to the three varieties of tomatoes there is oily fish, which was once considered poor, has been rediscovered by the great cuisine only a few years ago, but our grandparents already appreciated it. And then the black olives, an emblem of our Mediterranean nature, which is given an intense taste of chocolate.
The result, however, has nothing to be taken for granted, in fact, it explodes in the mouth, making all the elements clear and understandable, harmonizing them in an enveloping base that has peaks of flavour, given by the concentrated tomato, the dry marinade of the paddlefish. Liquids concentrate the flavour, the pesto of olives and chocolate that excites the taste buds.
The overlapping colours, the scent that emanates from each spoonful, are already the story of our history, which the flavour renews and revives, making it always new and present. This is what I mean when I speak of roots, ancient knowledge, and sense of belonging. However, I do not need nostalgia because the story becomes new and different every time and wants to be discovered.