While most self respecting Italians were spending Ferragosto (the August holiday) turning strangely leathery on a beach somewhere, I was in Abruzzo with my friend Petulia, her boyfriend Rob, and her enormous family doing something way better: bottling tomatoes for the coming year!

Petulia’s family in Abruzzo harvested 400 kilos of tomatoes this summer and with the help of 16 family members, these were peeled, squeezed and bottled with fresh basil. This will be the family’s tomato sauce supply for the coming year.