This recipe is largely in service of my favorite new technique for peeling tomatoes: with a blowtorch.

The tip comes from a book I bought at Maker Faire called Chef's Secrets, and Chef J. Bryce Whittlesey (who once worked at Keswick Hall near Charlottesville) instructs the reader that the blowtorch option prevents the tomato from becoming waterlogged by boiling the skin off. And presents an opportunity to play with fire.

The great joy of this dish (which can be made with whatever protein you like) is the way the simmering sauce fills the house with the fragrance of tomatoes, olives, and sunshine; afterwards, consider pouring another glass of wine and opening Julia Child's marvelous My Life in France.

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