Salsa di Prugne All’arancia e Pepe Nero

Prune Sauce with Orange and Black Pepper

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    1½ cups

Appears in

The Enoteca del Gatto in Anzio is a family affair. Franco del Gatto and his wife, Simonetta, run the enoteca along with their children, Daria and Cesare, the latter working as sommelier. The marble serving counter is the original banco di mescita installed in 193 6, when Franco’s father, Cesare, opened the place as an osteria. Simonetta del Gatto makes a number of conserves to serve with cheese. I particularly liked her suggestion to serve a slightly peppery prune sauce with cheese. You might want to try making it with fresh Italian prune plums.


  • 1 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice, or as needed
  • ¼ cup sugar or honey
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Slices of robiola cheese


Combine the prunes, water, ½ cup orange juice, sugar or honey, and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. If the mixture is too sweet, add a bit of lemon juice or more orange juice for balance, then add a nice grinding of black pepper.

Let cool, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, before serving. Serve with robiola cheese.