These sliced "spaccatelle" tomatoes from Masseria Mirogallo are a typical specialty from Basilicata. Fresh tomatoes are cut in half by hand and gutted of pulp, but the skins are left on. Unlike many jarred tomatoes meant only for cooking, these can also be used in much the same way as a fresh tomato. Think of it as having a fresh tomato trapped in a jar for use throughout the year when tomatoes are not in season. You can taste the sunshine still in them!
Serve Masseria Mirogallo Sliced Spaccatelle Tomatoes on crusty Italian bread with a drizzle of great extra virgin olive oil, rinsed capers and a few thin slices of raw garlic. When you cook these tomato slices, make anything from a simple pasta sauce to a hearty ragù—the tomatoes have enough texture to withstand a slow braise and you can still taste their sweetness and bright acidity. For a classic Lucan recipe, try Rolando Beramendi's Spaccatelle di Pomodori (Broken Tomato Halves).
The Belfiore family, owners of Masseria Mirogallo, has been planting these tomatoes from their own heirloom seeds for generations. They are hand-harvested, carefully washed, and quickly blanched. Then, with gentle fingers, they are cut into halves, with great effort being taken not to break them. They are placed in the jar and pasteurized for the least amount of time necessary, to keep as much of the natural flavor of the tomato in the jar. There is nothing else inside the jar but their own juice—no water or salt has been added.
About Masseria Mirogallo
Since the 1800s, one of the largest farms in Lucana Valley of Basilicata, Italy has been owned by the Mirogallo family, who specializes in the cultivation and preservation of heirloom varieties of fruit and vegetables from which they hand-make very high quality pantry products. The Mirogallo brothers are quick to point out that everything they put in a jar comes from their fields, and that the only preservatives they use are vinegar and salt. Every summer, the Mirogallo farm is bustling with many farm-workers hand harvesting perfectly sun-ripe fruit and vegetables. Inside the old white washed farm building, a state-of-the-art kitchen transforms the bounty of every day into a wide array of jars of all color and sizes.