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People I respect tell me it is just fine to cook with canned tomatoes. I just can’t see it. Others tell me there are very acceptable tomato pastes. That really beats me. If you must have tomato sauce in winter, buy fresh tomatoes at the peak of the season, put them in plastic bags, and freeze them whole.
The benchmark for tomato sauce is the one made from tomatoes growing in and around Naples in that volcanic soil. In the summer, the whole plant is uprooted and hung upside down in the sun for a few days. Then these concentrated tomatoes (already packed with flavor) are cooked for fifteen minutes in olive oil and herbs before being poured, still in big pieces, over the pasta.
For fresh tomatoes, you can’t go wrong growing or buying the heirloom varieties—a new development that is so wonderful it can never become a fad. They are simply the best.

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