Tag Archives: pasta sauce

Roast Tomato and Paprika Pasta Sauce with Garlic and Basil

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The tomatoes don’t need to be pretty, I often use seconds, their flavour is fab and I just cut off any nasty bits!

If you have lots of tomatoes, consider roasting them all, making the sauce and then freezing it in zip lock bags, labelled of course, until you need a fast dinner. Alternatively, sterilise jars and lids, bring the sauce up to the boil in a pan and then pour, carefully, into the jars and seal.

If you don’t have fresh  paprika, don’t worry, capsicum works too or just do tomato sauce.

Makes 1-1.2 litres of sauce. 200mls will cover 400g dried pasta.

Ingredients

2kg ripe tomatoes, halved and cores removed

2 red paprika, halved, cored and cut into 5cm pieces

3 cloves garlic, sliced

a few basil leaves

1 tablespoon caster sugar

salt and pepper

olive oil to drizzle

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Method

Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment, coming up the sides to catch any juice.

Place the tomatoes on the sheets, cut side up.

Top the tomatoes with a slice of garlic and a piece of basil leaf.

Add the paprika to the tray, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar.

Add the parsley to the tray.

Drizzle with a little olive oil, just a drop or two on each tomato half.

Season with salt and pepper.

Pop in the oven and roast for one and a half hours.

Allow to cool completely.

Scrape everything on the trays into the food processor and process until smooth.

Add balsamic vinegar and sugar, process again.

Have a taste, you may need more sugar and more salt or pepper.

Keep some sauce aside for dinner tonight and bag or jar the rest.

Serve mixed through cooked pasta and top with a little grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Creamed Spinach

Creamed Spinach

Often served alongside steak, creamed spinach has other uses too.

Liquidize and use as a “hidden vegetable” sauce on fussy children’s pasta or pop a poached egg on top  and you have eggs Florentine, delicious for breakfast or a light lunch. It can also be made ahead of time to save time when you are entertaining, just reheat gently.

If your spinach comes with roots get the kids to plant them out in the garden to give an instant veggie patch and more spinach in the future.

Serves 4-5.

Ingredients

600g spinach, stalks removed

400mls cream

nutmeg

salt and pepper

Method

Wash the spinach and place in a pan with a well fitting lid.

Cover and heat on a high heat for 3-5mins stirring once, the spinach should be completely wilted.

Drain spinach in a colander and then squeeze all the liquid out of it by hand.

Chop the spinach and return to the pan, add cream, heat over high-medium heat, stirring occasionally until reduced to a thick cream consistency.

Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve warm over steak.

If making for pasta sauce don’t allow to thicken quite so much and if hiding the vegetable liquidize or use a hand held blender to make a smooth green sauce.