(gram tells me as a little girl I couldn't say "tomatoes" so I said "cheemainos")
you can seriously get lost in these plants. grandma threw a tomato party for family and friends this past weekend. she told me that we have been having this annual party for at least 20 years. what happens is once the tomatoes are ripe enough, we pick them, clean them, and package them up for people to take home and make a marinara or insalata. i've never been a fan of fresh tomatoes, but i'll make a fresh sauce any day. there really is no comparison to the store bought tomatoes. they're just not the same.
the menu must always include a pasta with marinara sauce to showcase the tomatoes. this time we did a baked penne with tre formaggi. buona let me tell you. we also had red pepper, onion, and sausage sandwiches (a typical food item that you can get from a street vendor in italy), swiss chard and cannellini beans, an insalata del balsamico, and some biscotti.