A trip
called Puglia

The tomato sauce, a family reunion

The alarm clock rings early.
Running the show? Grandpa.
You have to prepare tables, tablecloths, rags, ladles, basins and the crank machine.
Tomorrow the alarm will ring at the same time, at 06:00. The tomatoes have to arrive and the team of experts, mother and aunt will have to be ready for the selection of the raw material. Usually, it happens more or less like this, they eliminate the soft fruits or inhabited by worms and those too unripe or ripe. The selection is really accurate. Among those that are saved, some will season the orecchiette, strictly with ricotta cheese, prepared for lunch. Everything is perfectly organized.
I’ll wash the tomatoes with my sisters. Washed the first, we will put them in large cauldrons for cooking, not without controversy on basil, whether it should be put fresh or cooked.
When cooked, grandpa will start to “minestrare” the tomatoes, or remove them from the cooking water, and put them to drain.The first cooked and drained tomatoes will go into the machine to be passed. When the first vat is full of sauce will be replaced by another vacuum, while the first will be moved to the bottling that will take care of dad, including capping.
Eventually, the bottles will be inserted carefully into the pot, after lighting the fire under the boilers. The rule is: «they must come to boil, and from there an hour is calculated».

Sounds like a lot of work, but it’s more like a family reunion.  The perfect opportunity to tell that Lucrezia is no longer married to Vito, that Giulia graduated in October, that next Sunday they also make “polpette” with “brasciole”.
Turned off the stove and cooled water, you will proceed to the extraction of bottles and the distribution of goods. «Because there’s no way you’re going to the North and buying salsa at the supermarket».
I’m sure you’ve understood that making tomato sauce at home is a tradition that my family still endures despite the weather. Aromas, Mediterranean aromas and memories that mix. It is a family tradition, a rite in Puglia.

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