What inspired me to make this two tomato jelly was the need to prepare something healthy, with local ingredients, (red and yellow cherry tomatoes are a symbol of Italy) and because of my family’s cholesterol test results. It is ideal for a dinner with a big group because in can be made a day or two in advance, and it can make all our dining companions happy: it is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free….and light.
The xanthan gum is not essential, it is just a stabilizer and makes the colours more vivid, but it can also be a strong laxative if you overdo it, so be careful or avoid using it.
The addition of fennel and Sambuca liqueur is a touch of Rome, suggested by visiting Chef Fabio Campoli at the Florence Metro Academy.

Two tomato jelly
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (not including an hour in the fridge)
Yield: Makes 4 servings.


  • For the yellow jelly
  • 14 oz (400 g) yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 1 oz (20 g) onion, finely minced
  • Some wild fennel leaves
  • 1 tbsp Sambuca (star anise liqueur)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinch xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp (3 g) agar-agar
  • For the red jelly
  • 14 oz (400 g) red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 pinch chili pepper
  • 1 tsp (3 g) agar-agar
  • 1 pinch xanthan gum


In a saucepan, sauté the onion in the olive oil and add the yellow tomatoes when the onion is golden. Add salt, cook for 10 minutes and add the Sambuca and fennel. Add the agar-agar and the xanthan gum and mix carefully.
Wet 6 small moulds and pour the liquid into each of them through a sieve. Place the moulds in the fridge and let cool for an hour.
In another saucepan, sauté the garlic cloves in the olive oil. When they are golden, discard them and add the red tomatoes. Add the chili pepper, season with salt, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the agar-agar and the xanthan gum and mix carefully. Remove the moulds from the fridge, Pour the liquid into each mould through a sieve and put back in the fridge.

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About the Author

Growing up in Emilia Romagna, a region known for Parmesan, Parma ham, lasagna, and filled pasta, a great deal of my childhood was spent in the kitchen with my grandmother and mother.

Even at a very young age, I could see that for them cooking was a passionate expression of their love for their family. While I’m filled with many warm memories of watching them cook, what I remember most is circling the table and watching the stove, waiting for any opportunity I could to steal a taste.