San Marzano tomato is a prized heirloom plum tomato that is oblong shaped with a deep red color. This tart flavored yet sweet tomato is considered the best sauce tomato because of its firm and juicy flesh and very little seeds. Because of its sweetness, the sauce made from these tomatoes does not require extra sugar. It is an essential ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine, especially in the Italian cuisine. This tomato is also known as pizza tomato because of its wide use on pizzas and pastas. San Marzano Pasta Sauce, Penne Pasta and San Marzano Tomatoes with Zucchini, Diced Tomato Relish and Tomato & Onion Sauce are some delicious preparations of this tomato.
History of San Marzano Tomato Seed
As per records, the delicious San Marzano tomato was first cultivated in Campania, Italy, which has been home to the pizza since the middle ages. It is believed that the first seed of San Marzano was brought into Campania in the year 1770, as a present to the Kingdom of Naples from the Kingdom of Peru. The seeds were sowed in San Marzano, a region located at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Today, there is a huge demand for this tomato in the US, Northern Europe and Japan. These are the only tomatoes that have the privilege of being used for the True Neapolitan Pizza.
Culinary Uses of San Marzano
San Marzano tomato is considered the best tomato to make sauces. Other than that, these tomatoes can be canned, juiced, crushed (for soups and sauces) and stewed. These are also ideal for making casseroles. Delicious relishes too can be made with this tomato that tastes great when used in grilled dishes such as fish and chicken, steaks and burgers.
Popular San Marzano Recipes
The delectable San Marzano tomato adds a lot of flavor to the dishes in which it is used. Here are some well known preparations of this tomato –
San Marzano Pasta Sauce – This sauce can be used for many dishes, such as sautéed sausages or ground beef that have been browned with onions, etc. It is prepared by simmering tomato puree, bay leaves, dried basil, red pepper flakes, dried oregano, salt and pepper, all of which are added to the tomato paste that has been cooked with caramelized onions, garlic salt and pepper. Fresh basil can be added before serving the dish.
Penne Pasta and San Marzano Tomatoes with Zucchini – Penne pasta is used for this dish that gets its taste from the pureed tomatoes and zucchini, in which, the sautéed onions, celery, garlic and chili flakes have been simmered. A little white wine that is used for deglazing the sauté, adds a wonderful flavor to the dish. Pecorino romano cheese is used for garnishing this pasta dish that is seasoned with fresh thyme.
Nutritive Value of San Marzano Tomatoes
These tomatoes are very low in calories and sodium, but high in minerals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, thiamin, manganese. They are also high in vitamins such as A (anti-oxidant beta carotene) & dietary fiber.
Buying & Storing Tips
- It is ideal to buy these tomatoes when they are just ripe and not over ripe.
- The skin of the tomato should be taut and smooth, without any blemishes.
- It is advisable not to refrigerate the San Marzano tomatoes; instead they should be stored at room temperature, preferably in paper bags that have holes in them. They help in air circulation, thus keeping the tomatoes fresh and enabling even ripening.