In Palazzo Lanza Tomasi the summer heat dims and the sea breeze flows through the French windows. On the terrace, the sunlight sweeps through, sending flickers of sunshine onto the newly born tortoises. Nibbling on a fallen hibiscus flower, they bumble through the cocktail of fresh smells that envelops the garden. Only half an hour earlier, I walked through my little slice of paradise, carefully selecting my finest basil leaves and ripest tomatoes for my delicious salsa di pomodoro.
If you step inside my home, you will be treated to a soupçon of the sauce as its aroma floods the whole Palazzo. In the kitchen upstairs, two huge saucepans with copious amounts of red delight are bubbling away.
I leave the tomatoes, basil and onion to boil and then pour the sauce through a passapomodoro. As it passes through the mill, the skins are pushed aside, leaving behind a passata bursting with flavour.
I boil this once more to sterilise it, and then pour it into dozens of jars. Finally, I turn them upside down and tuck them under a blanket where they will stay until they have cooled down. This creates a vacuum seal which will bring the lids to pop up when turned upright. The sauce is now ready to be enjoyed!
Stored away ready for the winter, this salsa di pomodoro embodies Italian cooking and is the essence of traditional Italian family meals.