As gardeners we know that fresh is best. Not much beats a fresh tomato picked right from the garden. Chef Michael Bologna would agree with us. His restaurant, Vingenzo’s in Woodstock, Georgia, is based on freshness. And, he loves a really ripe, fresh tomato.
Located in downtown Woodstock Vingenzo’s has won many, many awards including one of Atlanta’s Top 50 restaurants (Atlanta Magazine 2012). The restaurant features traditional Southern Italian fare. Sausage, mozzarella, pasta, sauces, and desserts are made fresh on-site.
Chef Bologna comes from an Italian family and he is very, very passionate about food. He truly delights in seeing people enjoy his cooking. He also enjoys teaching others how to prepare wonderful, fresh meals.
Chef Bologna has been invited and cooked at the famed James Beard house – twice! Happily, he has agreed to share one of his favorite recipes with us. It features garden ripe tomatoes, something we all have a surplus of right now.
Chef Bologna’s Fresh Tomato Sauce
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered or 4 roma tomatoes, diced
4oz olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
5 fresh basil leaves
1. Heat 2T oil up until almost smoking.
2. Add garlic and stir.
3. When garlic just starts to show color add tomatoes and stir.
4. Simmer until juices are released from tomatoes and add 4oz olive oil.
5. Simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Remove from heat.
7. Season with salt and pepper and torn basil leaves.
8. Serve with spaghetti or angel hair pasta.
If you haven’t grown tomatoes before, this recipe alone should inspire you. You could try growing some late season tomatoes or visit your local farmer’s market.
Thank you, Chef Bologna, for sharing your talents with us. And just for you…
Buon giardinaggio! (translation: Happy Gardening!)