When September comes along, it used to be that Sacramento smelled of cooking tomatoes. From the canneries that used to process tomatoes here in the city, there was always this very inviting scent in the air. Now the canneries are no longer, but the Sacramento Valley still grows a lot of tomatoes and they are canned near–just not in Sacramento.
An unlikely pairing of a pizza cook (Chris Bianco) and a longtime fruit canner (Rob DiNapoli) plus a committed tomato grower (Cliff Fong) has led to several lovely tomato products made under the Bianco DiNapoli label. One in particular, in fact very new, is their organic Bianco DiNapoli Sauce in 24 ounce jars. Very simply made, yet almost perfect for its type, this is tomato sauce that you would make at home. But here the work is done for you!
Thick-ish, due to the plum tomatoes used, this is sauce that is outstanding for any use. The dense plum tomatoes are steam peeled, chopped; sauteed garlic added, then tomato puree, fresh basil, and salt. Once heated, the mixture is jarred in sanitized 24 ounce jars, hermetically sealed and sterilized. Much like you would do at home. A completely vegetarian version of tomato sauce, every ingredient is organic. You just have to heat it up and it is ready to use for dressing pasta or adding to other ingredients. The 24 ounce jar gives enough sauce for at least eight servings of pasta.
To make the famous tomato based sauce from the recently earthquake-hit village of Amatrice, you can just use the Bianco DiNapoli Sauce and slices of guanciale, the cured pork jowl that is the hall-mark of this sauce.