October 01, 2006
Although the change in season is only starting to show small signs of happening where I live, the world of food is starting to change rapidly. Late summer crops that have been soaking up the sun in the past few months are producing faster than we can keep up. The most noteworthy is the tomato. Only two weeks ago, tomatoes were two dollars a pound; now, farmers are literally knocking on the back door of the restaurant with over a hundred pounds a day for dirt cheap prices for the best, most flavorful tomatoes of the year.
Time for tomato sauce! The season for one of the best local fish, albacore tuna, is also beginning right now. So, here is a surefire recipe from the south of Italy via northern California that combines those two ingredients. I made this dish for the first time eight years ago at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and I bring it back every autumn to the delight of my friends and, now, my customers at Avanti in Santa Cruz.