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It’s not at all fancy pants.
BUT it IS stupidly easy AND crazily cheap.
AND it’s crammed full of look-after-your-heart veggies, you can hide from your kids.
AND, the biggest AND of all! …
… if you make a humungous pot of it, and freeze it in small portions, you’ve got the basis for a zillion and one family meals.
Bolognese, chilli con carne, chilli without carne, curry, lasagna, stew, cottage pie, calzones etc etc etc – they all need a great tomato sauce base.
And this make-once-a-month beauty takes only 10 minutes tops rough chopping and involves absolutely NO peeling or straining or other faffing!
I make with 5 tins of chopped tomatoes, which is the most I can fit in my Le Creuset but you could use more. For each can of tomatoes I add:
- a ripe pepper – aim for a mix of colours
- a couple of very ripe tomatoes
- an onion – a mix of ordinary & red good
- a big fat clove of garlic
- a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
1. Rough Chop Peppers
Rough chop a pepper – any colour – for each tin of tomatoes you plan to add.
I buy very ripe, slightly bruised ones going dirt cheap at our greengrocers.
2. Rough Chop Tomatoes
Chop into big chunks a couple of ripe tomatoes for each can of tomatoes.
Again I buy cheap battered ones that taste better for being properly ripe!
3. Rough Chop Onions
Rough chop a mix of ordinary and red onions, one for each can of tomatoes.
4. Stir Up In A Big Roasting Tin
Stir everything up in the biggest roasting tin you’ve got – or split across several – with a tablespoon or so of olive oil per can of tomatoes.
5. Shove In The Oven For An Hour
Shove roasting tin in a pre-heated oven for an hour-ish stirring occasionally. Put it in at whatever temperature you need oven on for other stuff you’re cooking. Just stir a bit more and cook for less time if oven hot. Half way through add but don’t stir in some squidged – skin on – cloves of garlic.
6. Add Tins Of Tomatoes
Once vegetables all nicely roasted with some black edges, pick out garlic and transfer to a heavy stove top pan (or to a slow cooker) and add your tins of tomatoes. Simmer gently without a lid for an hour-ish to thicken.
7. Freeze And Relax
Now just cool a little and freeze in small batches (for quick defrosting) and sit back and relax – glass of red in hand, smug in the knowledge you have a freezer full of seriously healthy, seriously cheap ready to go meals!!
P.S. Blitz For Picky Eaters
If your veg phobic kids – I have one! – will baulk at all those chunks of veg, just blitz the defrosted sauce, or their helping of it, with a hand blender.
And if you’re short on a good hand blender try this truly amazing one I have from Braun – it cost less than 15 quid and having tested and broken a load of other blenders, I can’t recommend it enough. You can buy it here.