Claudia has been staying a few months with her good friend Laura, who runs a B&B in Trebiano (B&B Sotto il Castello, Trebiano, Cinque Terre), a small village on the hills. Here, Claudia experienced the classic Italian lifestyle, including slow and passionate cooking. It inspired her (and Labro) to create a new chapter of ‘Cuccinara Con Claudia’, which means, cooking with Claudia during her travels in Italy.
La Salsa a la Laura
The first recipe is La Salsa a la Laura, Laura’s own recipe which she makes every week for different meals. She plays with the ingredients that are currently growing in her garden and that are ready to be picked. The quantities of the ingredients below are mainly based on Laura’s gut feeling, so don’t be scared to follow your own instinct. Enjoy cooking!
Take the biggest pan you can find
Buy as many tomatoes as fit the pan
2 cloves of garlic
1 or 2 celery stems
Now, let’s start cooking!
Start by washing the tomatoes. If they come from a garden like ours, they need a good clean. Cut all irregularities from the tomato and cut everything, also the carrots, celery and zucchini, into small pieces. Put everything together in your large pan and put the stove on a low heat. Let the vegetable’s simmer for about 3 hours (worth the wait, promise!). We need the ingredients to be soft for them to become a good sauce.
Claudia learned two ways to finish the sauce;
1. Use a ‘passe-vite’ or ‘food mill’ to crush and sieve the tomatoes. Put the passe-vite above a large bowl, put in the sauce and turn the handle to press everything through.
2. Put the boiled greens in a sieve, and crush it with your hands. You can use a a wooden spoon to remove the pulp that comes out, this way you will get a smooth sauce.
When your La Salsa is ready, you can turn the stove off. When your guests are coming for diner, just heat it up again. Italians like to prepare everything a day before so there is plenty of time to enjoy cooking and talking.