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The secret base of Sicilian sauces.
It takes over nine pounds of fresh tomato sauce to fill one jar of strattu. That should give you an idea of the density of flavor located within. You'd think they make this stuff on Jupiter, but no, it comes from southern Sicily.
A confit of tomatoes—a super concentrated tomato paste—strattu is the secret Sicilian chefs use to turn sauce from typical to terrific. Melt a bit in olive oil to start your sauce. Strattu (or estrattu, they're the same thing) adds a depth of flavor that would otherwise take you hours of cooking and reduction to re-create on your own. A little goes a long way.
Once opened, top with a bit of olive oil and it will last for months in the refrigerator.
"Melt a bit of deep-red strattu in warm olive oil, and let it deliver depth of flavor to everything from ragout to ratatouille . . . at least until tomato season returns next summer."
Francine Maroukian, Town & Country
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