Persimmons on your pasta.
December 13, 2010 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I once ate pasta with a delicious persimmon + tomato marinara. I can't find any persimmon marinara recipes for it online. How can I recreate it?

I know it contained tomatoes, persimmons, olive oil, fresh basil. I make my own tomato sauce often, so that part is pretty easy. (This usually consists of Pomi tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, basil, a touch of sugar.) I just don't know how I should incorporate the persimmons or how to cook with them in general. I know they're very sweet and want to get the flavor without overdoing it on sweetness.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by blackcatcuriouser to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe you can just pick up a few, bite into one, and use that test to gauge just how much sweetness it would impart? You can definitely cut the sugar from your current recipe. Other than that, I don't think the persimmon needs to be treated any differently from a tomato, since the two are (weirdly) closely related.
posted by Gilbert at 7:26 AM on December 13, 2010

The persimmon you want is a hachiya which ripens into a soft, sweet mass while the fuyu is much firmer and astringent in comparison.

Treat the soft persimmon as a ripe puree of tomato. Definitely taste the persimmon before hand to determine how bright you want the sauce and anything else that may impact your flavor. Persimmons, BTW, take well to nutmeg.
posted by jadepearl at 8:08 AM on December 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Make sure it has ripened to the soft sweet mess jadepearl describes. Unripe persimmons are quite bitter. Oh and cloves go well with them, too.
posted by bardophile at 8:26 AM on December 13, 2010

If left to ripen until soft, the fuyu will also become a squishy, sweet mess (I ate one with a spoon a couple of days ago). Unlike the hachiya, which cannot be eaten until it's soft and squishy, the fuyu can be eaten while still firm, and is not, in my experience, astringent when it's firm (though its flavor is not terribly noticeable). They'll both ripen if you just let them sit on your counter, though it may take days.
posted by rtha at 8:49 AM on December 13, 2010

A word of warning -- although the hachiya persimmon loses its astringency and becomes sweet once it gets soft (almost too soft to pick up, in fact), it gains a lot of that astringency back if it comes to a boil. Add the persimmon to the sauce at the last minute to avoid that.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:20 AM on December 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

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