Dried Tomatoes in Olive OilClick to Play

Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Pomodori Secchi Sott'Olio

Mary Ann Esposito


Dried tomatoes in olive oil have exquisite flavor, and what a gift to give yourself in the stillness of winter. Plum or cherry tomatoes work best and the "putting up" should be done during gardening season when tomatoes are at peak flavor. They store beautifully for months. Use them diced as a sauce for pasta, in salads, and for antipasto.


14 unblemished meaty plum tomatoes, washed and dried
3 cups red wine vinegar
Two 12-ounce jars and lids, sterilized
8 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons capers in salt, rinsed and diced
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 to 2 1/2 cups Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, as needed


Core and cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise.

Place the tomatoes cut side down in a dehydrator and dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Or place cut side down on wire racks set on baking sheets in a preheated 225ºF oven. Let dry until they have the texture of dried apricots. This may take a day or longer, depending on the size of the tomatoes.

Pour the wine vinegar into a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes and blanch them for 1 minute. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and drain well. The vinegar acts as a preservative and gives added flavor to the tomatoes.

Layer the tomatoes into the sterilized jars, adding half the basil, capers, peppercorns, and salt to each jar. Slowly pour the olive oil into the jars, pressing down on the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon. Make sure that the tomatoes are completely submerged under the oil at all times, or they will be exposed to air and potential bacteria growth.

Cap the jars tightly and place them in a cool spot overnight. The next day, check the level of the oil and add more to the jars if the tomatoes are poking out of the oil. Check the jars two or three more times, adding more oil if necessary.

Recap the jars and store them in a cool place for 6 weeks before using. Refrigerate after opening and bring the tomatoes to room temperature before serving.

To dress 1 pound of pasta:
Puree 1 cup of the dried tomatoes in olive oil, ensuring that you include some of the basil leaves and peppercorns, with a couple of additional teaspoons of capers, if desired, 1/4 cup red wine, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water, if desired.  Then heat and toss with the pasta.

Featured on show 1903 - Preserved Eggplant and Tomatoes.

This recipe is from Mangia Pasta! by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1998.

item recipe is featured in Episode 1903 of Season 19.

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This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"


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  1. Frances Tabeek's avatar

    Frances Tabeek

    | Permalink
    This recipe reminded me of my grandmother who passed away in 1959
  2. Frank Pabon's avatar

    Frank Pabon

    | Permalink
    My wife and I love your show

    Would like to know what is the shelf life of dried tomatoes in olive oil. Show 1903


  3. Dominick Sciortino's avatar

    Dominick Sciortino

    | Permalink
    Hello Mary Ann, I have been watching you show for a long time. I have never seen you make cannoli. When we moved we lost my Grandmother
    recipe. I have tried to make the shells but I have had no luck. I get close but no cigar. If you have a recipe please show us on your show or send me the recipe. Keep cooking Mary Ann. Dominick
  4. D Michele Dutka's avatar

    D Michele Dutka

    | Permalink
    I've got these drying in the oven right now. The whole house is redolent with the sweet scent of their caramelizing juices. Can't wait for a cold winter's day in front of the fire with these drops of sunshine in a jar. Add a glass of good wine, some crusty Italian bread, and a chunk of stinky cheese....mmmmmbrosia, noms of the gods!
  5. john morrow's avatar

    john morrow

    | Permalink
    wow! watched my frist show. Wishing I had planted eggplant to put in jars. Would like to get receipe for next year. Thanks
  6. LV Smith's avatar

    LV Smith

    | Permalink
    just watched the "Pomodori Secchi Sott'Olio" episode -- I can't wait to put this recipe to use!
  7. Gilbert's avatar


    | Permalink
    Good morning,
    Am Ghanaian living and working in The Netherlands for the past 26years. I will like to know how best we can do business together to my mother country Ghana(ACCRA). Am interested in your product(tomatoes paste) to export to Ghana. I can be reach on 003168783663 for further talks. Please note, am not a Nigerian, so take note about that!!!!
    Looking forward hearing from you soon.
  8. Jaco's avatar


    | Permalink

    You are a big fool for saying that you are not a Nigerian. If you are not a scammer why are worried about where you came from. No one asked you! You have been in Netherlands for the past 26 years and yet you have not seen a better business to do. Big fool!

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