September 11th, 2010
01:00 AM ET
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Jenny D’Attoma is a segment producer at Showbiz Tonight.

Labor Day rolls around each year, and while that brings about the inevitable sadness at summer's ending, in Casa D’Attoma, the sauce making is just getting started. My family's tradition of crafting it from scratch started back in Italy with my parents, both born in Calabria. Now my in-laws - who hail from Bari and Sicily - also pitch in.

My father begins by searching for the best bushels of tomatoes he can find: this year, six lovely bushels of Roma tomatoes. The first step is to wash every single tomato well, picking out the ones that may look a little bit mushy, and them making sure every one is nice and dry again before we begin turning them into sauce. Then everyone gets involved with cutting each tomato into pieces, which will then be stewed over a fire.

As much as we love the whole process, I have to admit that the cutting takes a long, long time. So you what do we do? We eat while we work! It can’t be all toil and no eating. Good food is indeed a function of being a good Italian; for us, it’s all about the food, all the time.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Italian • Make • Recipes • Staples • Techniques & Tips • Tomatoes

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