Sun-dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

It was from Biba Caggiano that I first learned about sun-dried tomatoes. She would add a few to her pasta sauce — apart from all the tomato sauce made from her food mill — and she’d raved about how much tastier the sauce always turned out. It wasn’t until years later that I would find sun-dried tomatoes in local deli shops. But what exactly are sun-dried tomatoes?

Take it literally. They are tomatoes dried under the sun and said to have originated in Italy where people dried their tomatoes on roof tiles to preserve them for the winter months.

You can buy them dry or soaked in olive oil, sometimes even flavored with herbs and spices. I used to buy them per 100 grams at a deli shop near the entrance of SM Hypermarket in Libis, Quezon City. Then, my husband saw this jar of julienned sun-dried tomatoes in S&R and we bought it. We’ve used it in pasta sauces, on pizza and even in stews. And the result is always amazing. The color is richer, the added texture is wonderful and the flavor is more robust.

Coming up: Not McDonald’s chicken and spaghetti meal.