Saturday 24 August 2013

raw tomato sauce for pasta and meatballs.

I often have a pack of organic meatballs (similar to the type you get in Ikea) in the fridge, they are so easy to zap in the microwave and I usually serve with spaghetti or rice or even in sub rolls with lots of salad, and everyone loves them and they are cheap, tasty and filling and not too full of silly nonsense. 

If I have a glut of tomatoes that need to be used, I often blitz up this sauce for pasta, and that makes this meal ready in no time at ALL.

Put the water on to boil.  Add your pasta when the water is ready. I don't have to tell you how to make pasta.  Yes, you can do this with gluten free pasta, any shape of pasta, wholemeal pasta - in fact I often use a mix of basics and wholemeal spaghetti.

Put all the tomatoes into the beaker for your stick blender, or into the jug of your blender, or bowl of your food processor.  Add 2-5 cloves of garlic, and at least a teaspoon, maybe more, of salt, depending on how many tomatoes there are.  Blitz it all up.  If you have some basil, add it if you feel like it.  A drop of nice olive oil and maybe of cider vinegar, or a pinch of brown sugar can all add a little zing.  Maybe you like spicy, in which case some chilli - powder, sauce, Tabasco, whatever will be good here too.

Pour the meatballs into a microwaveable dish and heat for as long as the packet says.

Drain the pasta, and serve the 3 together.  If you have some green veg you want to eat too, that would be nice, but you won't die if you don't have any.  Enjoy, it shouldn't take more than about 15 mins to get to the table.

foraging is fun in summer

We've been picking blackberries! We have lots and lots of them! Mainly we eat them as is, but we've also had crumble, sponge and now we've had salad and fool too!

I roasted a chicken (from the 3 for £10 promotion in Sainsbury's) with a little butter mashed with garlic and cumin, pushed under the skin of the breast.  I just boiled some salad potatoes and steamed some broccoli to go with the chicken, but I also made a salad using a bag of mixed watercress, baby spinach and rocket, added a handful of blackberries, and made a dressing of finely chopped shallots, cider vinegar, good olive oil and a squirt of SweetFreedom.  Of course I used the stuff in the roasting tray (I had the chicken on a rack) to make a nice thin jus (or gravy, as we call it!) Glorious glorious comfort food, and the dressing and the gravy mingled to make a luscious sauce with a tang and a good hit of savoury satisfaction.

For pudding we had two different fools.  So easy to do, and no time at all take, really.  I simmered a punnet of gooseberries in a frying pan with about 60-70g of golden sugar.  When they were bubbling, I mashed them lightly with a fork until really soft, then poured into a jug and put to cool in the fridge.  I quickly washed out the pan, and put in all the blackberries we had.  It was probably slightly more than the goosegogs, but I added the same amount of sugar and did the same. 

When we were ready for pudding, I whipped up a BIG tub of double cream in my Bosch, and divided the softly mounded up cream between 2 glass bowls.  Into one I gently folded the gooseberry mush, and into the other I mixed in softly and dramatically most of the blackberry mush. (I kept some of the quickjam as there was a LOT, and it will be nice in porridge!) The blackberry fool went such a gorgeous deep colour, but I was careful to keep streaks of white and swirls of purple still separate. 

Both were a total hit, and a really luxurious way to finish off a lovely summery family comfort food meal together.