Every now and then I post a perfect recipe… I know, I’m blowing smoke up my own arse (a favourite phrase of mine that I’ve just discovered derives from the 1700s when doctors did actually blow smoke up people’s arses)… but if there’s one recipe that should really be in your repertoire then I’m pretty sure it’s this tomato sauce. It’s so simple to make, using all fresh ingredients. You can prepare it as you need it, have it in the fridge ready to go or make a triple batch and freeze some for a night that’s not going so well. It’s a prime example of how easy it is to choose fabulousness over supermarket blah. It suits babies, toddlers right up to oldies and even the most annoying food snobs. The secret is all in the presentation.
Whip up the base sauce. Serve it mixed through pasta for the kids – top it with just cheese or add some ham. A bit of grated carrot is good, and also some chopped grape tomatoes are a nice addition. Adults can add in a bunch of basil and parsley, extra pepper, olives, capers and some posh-as-you-like prosciutto.
Really, how good is a basic dish that will please everyone. It’s a rare and completely wonderful thing.
Summer pasta sauce
2 red capsicums
3 large tomatoes, halved horizontally
3 cloves garlic – leave whole and in their skins
3 tbsp olive oil (the better, the better)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sherry vinegar (use white wine vinegar if that’s all you have)
Pepper & salt to taste
Preheat oven to 200C
Slice the cheeks off the capsicums and place under the grill. Leave them to completely blacken (this lifts the skin off so it’s super easy to remove the skin). Leave to cool, remove the skin.
Place the tomatoes and garlic in an oven tray. Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes or so until the garlic is squishy and the tomatoes have softened considerably.
Tear the capsicum up and pop it into a mini food processor or blender. Squeeze in the centre of the garlic and the tomatoes (peel off the skins as you tip them in).
Add everything else and blitz. Done.
Serve mixed through pasta of your choice with whatever toppings suit your family. My suggestions are parmesan, fresh herbs, prosciutto (yes, I’m one of them annoying food snobs), olives and capers.
Recipe makes enough to top a meal for 2 adults and 2 kids – it also makes a great pizza sauce.