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Friday, 6 September 2013

Tomatoes, tomatoes, everywhere!


As the title suggests, I have a lot of tomatoes at the moment. The hubby likes growing fresh cherry sized tomatoes to have on pizza's in various pasta dishes he cooks and the like, but in previous years has had real trouble dealing with leggy plants. Some of it has been planting too early, some of it the mystery that is the British weather, but its been driving him barmy. So early this year I found him seeds for a bush variety of tomato. Red Alert if anyone is actually interested. The picture on the packet showed bushy plants with a lot of fruit. I never expected them to be so prolific for us. But... boy was I wrong.

So here I am with a lot of tomatoes, about the size of small plum tomatoes, much bigger than cherry sized, and what am I going to do with them? Given how much pasta my husband eats and the amount of Dolmio stir ins he goes through there was only one answer to that. Pasta sauce. I have a sauce that freezes and have been making in batches and freezing in portions. We aren't going to be buying pasta sauce for quite some time, but its lovely sauce with nothing I an leery of, so I feel happy making baby food out of it. Yes I make baby food. A lot. My almost 11 month old has yet to have a jar of baby food. Keeping up with that does keep me busy but I am happy doing it.

Back to the pasta sauce, what is my recipe then?

1-1.5 kg of fresh tomatoes. if you are growing like we are, slightly green is fine as they are going to cook out.
large handful of basil, about 30g or so
1 onion, red or white doesn't matter
garlic - 5 or six fat cloves
olive oil, about two tablespoons
1 tablespoon italian dried herbs - or any other herbs of your choice
a few drops of tabasco sauce  - completely optional, but I am not putting in anywhere enough to give this much sauce heat. its just giving it a little something.

* Warm the oil in a large pan while you chop the tomatoes, garlic and onion. I will note here that we put the whole tomato in, seeds and all. If you wish to deseed, its up to you, but you will need extra tomatoes to make the quantity of sauce.

* Fry with the dried herbs until the tomatoes start to stew while you take the basil leaves off the stalks and chop.

* Once its starting to look like a rough sauce, add the basil and the tabasco if using.

* Stew until you have a sauce you like the consistency of. A couple of hours is fine to develop the flavours if you want! But you don't have to wait an age either!

* Blend with a hand blender, split into portions and freeze.

And that's it, a simple sauce that can be used as a based for others if you like, or used as is. Nice, tasty and fresh! And looking at the tomato plants... its about time I did another batch this weekend!

Till next time

Kat xxx

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