Masseria Mirogallo's Pomodori Pelati—tomatoes peeled by hand—are a typical Lucan specialty. Pantry powerhouses, they are versatile in their uses, exalting anything from a simple pasta sauce to a hearty ragù. The tomatoes retain a hearty texture in cooking, withstanding a slow braise, and also keep their wonderful sweetness and bright acidity.
Carefully cultivating seeds from the previous harvest, the Belfiore family of Masseria Mirogallo replant their own heirloom tomato seeds year after year.
When perfectly ripe, the tomatoes are harvested by hand, carefully cleaned, quickly blanched, and then peeled by hand in a fascinating show of skill. The tomatoes are jarred, sealed, and briefly pasteurized for the minimum amount of time required. The result? Pure tomatoes preserved in their own juices with fresh basil and no added salt or water.
Rolando raves: "Watching the process is amazing: the careful and tender hand labor of peeling the tomatoes is as if they are making the softest gnocchi."