Salsa d'Estiva

One of my favorite restaurants - for many years every New Yorker's favorite - is Union Square Cafe. I subscribe to owner Danny Meyer's monthly newsletter which usually includes a recipe. I hope you like the idea.

Many years ago I was lucky enough to be invited to visit a friend on the island of Elba. Outside every door was a big pot filled with tomato plants in full fruit, another big pot full of basil.

Lunch was freshly cooked pasta topped with uncooked Summer Sauce. Giuliana called it "Salsa d'Estiva."

Core and dice really good tomatoes - no need to peel. Add several cloves of garlic, finely minced, a lot (!) of chopped or torn fresh basil, a spoonful of capers, salt, pepper and olive oil. Spoon a generous amount on each bowl of pasta. Top with plenty of freshly grated Parmesan.

So simple. (This was one of the dishes at our last Winefest - but it was not so simple to dice two bushels of tomatoes!)

My friend said that the wine of Elba was not really good enough to drink but she served it in a giant "coupe" with a whole poached peach. Napoleon should have had it so good!