January 18, 2012

La Cucina: Homemade Tomato Sauce

This song is stuck in my head. It's kind of brilliant (watch the video clip!!) Except I couldn't help but laugh at the lead singer playing a tambourine, as cool as that is :P

Some of you may know that I fancy myself as an orright home cook, and so just for something different, and to celebrate my return to the kitchen after my latest surgery, I've decided to publish one of my very own recipes - the first one I ever wrote I think.

Usually, this goes with my bocconcini-filled meatballs, which are seriously awesome (if I do say so myself) but that seemed like a bit too much effort today, so I just paired it with some pasta. Anyhow, without further ado, here is my recipe for homemade tomato & basil sauce :P

Ingredients Makes approx. 750ml
1.2kg tomatoes
15-20 large basil leaves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small chilli, halved
4 clothes of garlic, roughly chopped
salt, to taste

Homegrown garlic.
The stuff makes me ridiculously happy :D
Unfortunately not homegrown
Not entirely sure what became of our chilli plants :/
1. Poor oil into a small saucepan and heat on a low heat, adding garlic and chilli. Fry gently, making sure to remove from heat before they brown. Leave garlic and chilli to infuse in the oil for 20 minutes before straining. Store garlic and chilli separately*.
2. Blanch and skin tomatoes, before quartering and removing seeds**. Place in medium saucepan (lid on) on low heat, stirring frequently until it turns into pulp.
3. Add bruised (or chopped, depending on what you want) basil leaves and remove from heat. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Once cool, process tomato pulp with blender and season well with salt.
5. Combine tomato & basil mixture with garlic & chilli oil and mix well. Place over medium heat (lid off) for 20-60 minutes depending on how thick you want it.
6. Once cooked, if not using immediately, place in heated glass jars - refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.

And there it is :) Great for lazy days when I can't be bothered doing anything more than cook some pasta for lunch. Keep in mind though that this is a really simple sauce - it's sometimes fun to throw other ingredients in, grilled vegies, red wine - experiment and have fun!

*I also like to make spaghetti aglio ed olio when I make this, so I use the chilli and garlic from the oil for that, though it can also be used in marinades and anything else you want :)

**You can leave the seeds in the sauce if you want - it makes it so much easier to cook - but I find it makes the sauce taste watered down...

No comments: