Mother received a shipment of dozens of green tomatoes last week. Our chef’s like to pickle and otherwise preserve the firm and tart tomatoes in an effort to make use of a product that isn’t quite edible off the vine. After a few days these young tomatoes began to ripen achieving hues of yellow and orange. Chef Masera took the tomatoes and cooked them confit. (More on the process below). The resulting tomato was fork tender and had a bright and beautiful flavor. He topped the the tomato with fresh spaghetti Aglio Olio e Peperoncino. The beauty in this recipe is it’s simplicity. It’s not uncommon for grocery stores to sell under ripe tomatoes on the shelves as they transport more easily undamaged, so I imagine it won’t be difficult to find suitable tomatoes.
A deep casserole pan that can accommodate the number of tomatoes you’re working with.
Pre-Heat your oven to 325.
6 Young tomatoes cored. Firm not ripe.
1/2 red sliced red onion
4 cloves of garlic whole but smashed
1/2 bunch fresh oregano
3 Tablespoons of salt
1 Tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
3 cups of olive oil
Place all of the ingredients except the oil in the cooking vessel with the tomatoes bottom up. Pour the olive oil over the ingredients until the oil covers the tomatoes by 2/3. Cover the vessel with foil or a lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and turn over the tomatoes. Replace the foil and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Gently remove the skin from the tomatoes (tomatoes can live in the oil until ready to serve). Keep the used oil as it works well for cooking or finishing dishes.
Recipe Courtesy of Matt Masera, Mother.
The tomatoes are good eating on their own (perhaps smeared on grilled bread) but if you want to serve them as an entree you could serve them with your favorite pasta. The recipe I used for Aglio Olio e Peperoncino can be found below.
10 inch skillet
3 large cloves of garlic thinly sliced (a la Goodfellas)
3 Tablespoons of Oil (taken directly from the confit vessel)
1 pound of dried spaghetti (fresh is always preferred)
1 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped
1 teaspoon chili flakes (a more traditional dried italian chili would be more authentic)
Fresh shaved Parmigiano–Reggiano (Optional… in fact, this dish wouldn’t normally be served with cheese)
First, get a large stock pot of well salted water for pasta going on the stove.
Ladle the confit oil into the skillet set at medium high. When the oil is to temperature add the sliced garlic. Keep an eye on the garlic as it browns quickly. Once brown (darker than golden but not black) ladle a few teaspoons of pasta water into the skillet to cease the cooking process. Set the skillet to low (and add water should the garlic continue to cook). Add the chili flakes to the skillet.
Add pasta to the stock pot once it reaches a rolling boil. Cook to al dente per the instructions. Once cooked strain and add to the skillet. Toss the pasta in the skillet to evenly coat with garlic, oil and chili flakes. Top with parsley and optional cheese.
Top the confit tomatoes with the pasta and serve.