Tomini Elettrici in Salsa Rossa

Goat Cheese in Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette

This recipe is from Piemonte in northern Italy. The spicy and elettrico salsa is not to be confused with that river of red sauce that runs through many of America’s Italian restaurants. It is piccante and rich and makes a wonderful contrast to the creamy tomini, or goat cheese.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes (see Note)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, if needed
  • cups pureed drained canned plum tomatoes
  • ½ cup canned tomato puree
  • cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • pounds mild goat cheese, cut into 6 slices

Method

Warm the olive oil slightly in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the red pepper flakes and let it infuse a few minutes over low heat. Taste for the heat of the red pepper. If it is not very hot, add a pinch of cayenne. Let cool to room temperature, then combine with the remaining ingredients except the cheese. This is the salsa rossa.

Arrange the goat cheese in a single layer in a dish. Pour the tomato vinaigrette over the cheese, cover the dish, and marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 4 days, basting occasionally. Let warm to room temperature before serving. Serve the goat cheese with some of the vinaigrette and croutons. A small green or arugula salad makes a fine accompaniment.