Monday, April 4, 2011

Getting a roasting

Here is a better photo of my lovely new speckled hens.  Luckily for them they won't be getting a roasting, but practically everything else in my kitchen is.  Lots of things that you traditionally would do on the stove top can be roasted in the oven, which adds such a lovely dimension to food.  Last week it was pears and quinces.  This week it is  tomato sauce.

There a masses of cherry tomatoes that are just starting to ripen.  I bring them in when they have just started to go orange and put them on the kitchen windowsill to ripen fully.

I found this recipe in Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion  and it is quite honestly the best tomato sauce recipe (that is pasta sauce as opposed to ketchup sauce) that I have ever tried.  You can use it for pasta, pizzas, on meatballs, in casseroles, pretty much anywhere that you might be tempted to tip in something from a jar.  When I last made it I froze it in varying sized plastic zip-lock bags.

OVEN BAKED TOMATO SAUCE (this is double the recipe from the book, but if you're going to the trouble, you might as well have lots)

1 kg tomatoes 
2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
20 basil leaves, torn
s & p

Preheat oven to 150c.
Mix all ingredients in a big roasting pan.  Cover with foil and and bake for about 2 hours, or longer if you want it more reduced.

Put the sauce through the medium disc of a food mill (mouli).  This gets the seeds and skin out, so pureeing the mix won't do the job.

Season with s & p.  It will keep in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for a month or so (I have left it in there for longer with no ill effects). 

More roasting experiments to follow.  I need to practise, as apparently 80% of cooking on the AGA is done in the oven.

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