"At Simone’s Restaurant, we serve a version of this simple country dish puréed in a glass, then topped with a drizzle of oil, burrata and a sprig of basil," explains Patrizia. “All versions rely on full-flavoured tomatoes, high-quality olive oil and good bread.”
- 2 kg full-flavoured ripe tomatoes, such as San Marzano, roma or ox-heart
- 175 ml good-quality, extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn, plus extra to garnish
- 6 slices ciabatta
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- torn burrata (see Note) and finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (see Note) (both optional), to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink match 2011 Chrismont La Zona Arneis, King Valley, Vic ($22)
Cut tomatoes into large chunks, reserving the juices and discarding the seeds. If there are lots of seeds, squeeze the tomatoes into a sieve over a bowl.
Place oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add tomatoes, basil and a good pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill ciabatta on both sides until just golden, then rub both sides with the cut-side of garlic. Arrange ciabatta slices in the base of another large saucepan, layering if necessary.
Press tomato mixture through a fine sieve over toast, pressing down to extract as much juice as possible. Discard tomato solids. Add a little reserved tomato juice if ciabatta slices need to soften a little. Place pan over low heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring to ensure mixture does not stick to base, until bread has broken down. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with olive oil, scatter over cheeses, if using, and serve topped with basil.
• Burrata are fresh cheese rounds with stretched mozzarella on the outside and a buttery mix of shredded mozzarella and cream on the inside. Substitute buffalo mozzarella. Parmigiano-Reggiano is the finest Italian parmesan cheese. Substitute regular parmesan or Grana Padano. Both are from Italian delis, select supermarkets and good cheese shops.
Photography Sean Fennessy
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