Alta Cucina Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes

Secret Ingredient: Alta Cucina Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes

Canned fruits and vegetables can be a gamble, especially tomatoes. We all know that metallic “can taste” that most canned tomatoes have. But this little gem has the perfect vine-fresh flavor. Alta Cucina tomatoes are the closest thing to Old Italy in America. Flavored by restaurateurs serving the classical dishes of Italy’s urban “ristoranti,” Alta Cucina “Naturale” Style Plum Tomatoes are the answer to true San Marzanos, which are no longer available except at exorbitant prices. 

A San Marzano tomato is a variety of plum tomatoes from the Campania region in Italy. It is known for its flavor and quality as a canning tomato. These tomatoes are grown on tiny lots of land in the Agro Sarnese-Nocerino area under Mount Vesuvius, near Naples. San Marzano is a Denominazione d’Origine Protetta or D.O.P.. Therefore, only tomatoes grown there are truly San Marzano. They are hand-harvested by an older generation of Italian farmers called “contadini,” who are fewer and far between these days. These tomatoes are incredibly expensive and are often met with fraud as a result. True San Marzanos are generally unavailable because small Italian farmers have consolidated and turned to more commercial varieties rather than the hand-harvested San Marzano. Although many companies are fraudulently mislabelling tomatoes as “San Marzano” (when, in fact, they are not), in truth the treasured San Marzano tomato has all but disappeared. 

This brand of canned tomatoes is as close as you can get to the real thing. Each can of Alta Cucina is packed to the brim with sweet, tender, ultra-premium plum tomatoes in “naturale” style juice – packed from select tomato varieties chosen by Stanislaus for their fresh fragrance, exquisite flavor and delicate “melt-in-your-mouth” texture, which set the gold standard by which all other plum tomatoes are judged. For additional sweetness, they are hand-packed with fresh basil. All tomatoes are extensively hand-sorted for identical consistency, can after can. They are truly the finest, most consistent plum tomatoes available.

Meatballs in a bowl with sauce, garnish and a fork
Quick tip: For a great quick sauce, cook all the contents in the can for 8-10 mins on high, blend, spice, then cook for another 10-15 minutes.

YOU CAN DO IT! These tomatoes are used in many dishes at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana, but they have appeared most recently in their newest sauce: Tuscan Pomodoro Sauce. This sauce is made with tomatoes, garlic, white wine, fresh basil, a touch of unsalted butter and baby heirloom tomatoes. This thick and hearty sauce pairs beautifully with all kinds of fresh pasta. You can buy the canned tomatoes as well as their new sauce in the Market Cafe. 

Chef’s tip

“Stanislaus Alta Cucina Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes are the ONLY canned tomato product that Michael Anthony’s has used in its dishes since it opened 22 years ago. The tomatoes are sweet, plump and juicy and make a terrific base for almost all tomato-based sauces. We also sell these tomatoes in the retail portion of The Market Cafe.”  – Chef Trey Place, cooking school director at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana

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