serves 6 to 8
4 to 6 medium size, ripe, but firm tomatoes, cut in half, seeded, stems removed and roughly diced
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or to taste, plus 2 more whole cloves of garlic to rub on the toasted bread
about 8 fresh basil leaves
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fettunta/Bruschetta, 8 slices, from the master recipe in our RECIPES section
Place the diced tomatoes in a colander, add a pinch of salt and let them drain for about 30 minutes. The salt will enhance the flavor of the tomatoes and help them drain. Remove the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Tear the basil by hand and add to the tomatoes. Add the sliced garlic, salt and pepper to taste and about 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. The amount of oil can be varied according to your taste. But a good olive oil is a key component of this dish. The combination of flavors and textures is outstanding.
Let the tomato mixture sit for at least 1 hour to help the flavors develop. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Prepare the fettunta/bruschetta according to the master recipe.
Gently rub the warm toasted bread with the whole garlic clove. Drizzle some additional extra-virgin olive oil on the toast and then add the tomato mixture on top of each slice.
If you have any tomato mixture left over, it is great with some freshly cooked pasta such as a thin Capellini.
While fettunta al pomodoro is best during the summer with fresh, ripe tomatoes, it can also be made at any time with good canned tomatoes, such as San Morzanno tomatoes. Simply drain the whole tomatoes in a colander, break them apart by hand, remove the stem, add a pinch of salt and let them continue to drain for about 30 minutes. The remainder of the process is the same as above.
The dish can be varied by adding some fresh ricotta, chèvre or burrata on the fettunta before the tomatoes, as well as a bit of pistou, or your favorite pesto, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.