First buy a selection of delicious tomatoes from an Italian market making sure that you include the greenish ugly misshapen tomatoes that taste the best. Then go to your outdoor kitchen and halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and watery bits. Brush the tomatoes with some local olive oil - a raunchy little number packed with the punch of pepper, grass and apple. Sprinkle a little sea salt and grind some pepper over them.
Cover the tomatoes to avoid ants and flies crawling over them. The Sock devised a clever little cover using the net from her Aussie hat (which repelled the little black flies so prevalent in the bush) supported by a beaker to let the air circulate.
Did the Sock ever show you her hat? It is the best hattiewat ever and when she wore it in Italy a lot of people stared at her with their hearts full of jealousy!
Leave the tomatoes to sunbathe by the pool all day.
Whilst you are waiting for them to dry you can take a few photos of butterflies,
lie in the hammock and read a book, drink a negroni* or two, doze with a soft breeze gently teasing your warm skin, try and get out of the hammock which is not that easy when you have creaky knees and makes you look totally inelegant.
By evening the tomatoes will be ready. A symphony of flavour - each variety of tomato different but the best are the ugly greenish ones which are just slightly chewy and dried to the essence of tomato. Heaven.
Repeat process next day. Alternatively get in a cook for the night and Francesca will show you how to make the local pasta speciality orecchiette (meaning little ears) an art that Francesca makes look simple but will soon be a lost art as the young Italians turn more and more to packed pasta.
*negroni - a happy mix of gin, martini rosso and campari, alternatively negroni sbagliati with prosecco rather than gin.
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