Tag Archives: tomato

Vegetarian red sauce for pasta

I’m writing this recipe for myself as much as anyone because this is the first time I’ve managed to make a really great tasting, purely vegetarian red sauce. And I want to remember how I did it! lol

So, just had the sauce with pasta for dinner, and it was rich and delicious. Please note though, I called this a ‘vegetarian’ red sauce. Not vegan. The ingredients include a bit of butter and some cream cheese. That said, you could leave out those two ingredients and I think it would still taste as good, just perhaps not as ‘rich’.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a brown onion, chopped fine
  • 1/3 of a red onion [leftover] chopped fine [the red onion adds a bit of sweetness but if you don’t have, simply add a bit more brown onion]
  • 1 medium tomato with seeds removed and chopped fine
  • 1/2 a sweet red capsicum [bell pepper?] chopped fine
  • 2 large cloves of garlic – minced [I do it with a knife rather than the squeezy gadget as you lose too much garlic otherwise]
  • 1 sachet of Leggo’s tomato paste [2 tablespoons]
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika powder [the Hungarian one if you can manage it]
  • a pinch of chilli flakes [for just a little bit of ‘heat’. Substitute a small pinch of cayenne if you don’t have the flakes]
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut oil [or olive if you prefer]
  • cream cheese [2 of the Philadelphia Snack tubs, 34gms each] or 2 tablespoons of either cream or sour cream

Method

  1. Place the oil in the frying pan with the butter [if using] and very gently cook the two kinds of onions and garlic until the onions are almost translucent. I used a heavy cast iron frying pan which gives a very even heat. If you don’t have one, turn the heat down as low as possible so the onions ‘sweat’ very gently. You do NOT want them to brown.
  2. Add the capsicum, chopped tomato, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes and keep cooking until the two vegetables have softened a little.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir in.
  4. Add the paprika powder and stir in.
  5. Add about 1 tablespoon of water and stir in [just to stop the paprika from burning].
  6. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
  7. Check the sauce and add about 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook while you boil the pasta.
  8. After the pasta has cooked [approx. 15 minutes], check the sauce. It should now be fairly thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
  9. Take the sauce off the heat and swirl in the cream cheese [or cream or sour cream].
  10. Drain the pasta, place in a large bowl and pour over the sauce. Toss and voila! Dinner is served.

I never seem to put enough salt into anything I cook so you will probably have to sprinkle some over the pasta after serving. From a health point of view, this is probably not such a bad thing as too much salt isn’t good for. 😉

And finally, you may have noticed… that there is no picture of the dish. That’s because we ate it all before I remembered that I needed one. Sorry.

cheers
Meeks


A nursery for tomatoes

It’s Sunday, and I’ll have to go prepare for the working week soon, but I thought I’d leave you a foodies sort of post before I go.

This is a picture of the second generation tomato that self seeded in my pots last summer.

tomato closeup with tspoon

The teaspoon is for scale. During the height of the fruiting season we were getting tomatoes twice that size but I didn’t think to take a photo of them. -sigh-

The original tomato plant was a miniature Roma, but as you can see from the shape of its descendant, it must have reverted back to ‘wilder’ genes in generation 2.

The first self-seeding was an accident, but the plants were so prolific, and so hardy I decided to save the seeds for the following year. After the plants had almost finished cropping [late autumn] I cut the last, not so appetizing tomatoes in half, scooped out the seeds, and spread them on a layer of facial tissue. I placed another layer of tissue on top and let the seeds dry out.

Then, a few weeks ago I decided to try out EllaDee’s idea of placing pot plants in plastic tubs to prevent the bugs from getting to them. As well as bugs, I was worried that any late October frosts would kill my seedlings before they had a chance to mature.

I had a small, terracotta pot so I filled it with potting mix, lay the sheet of seeds on top and sprinkled a couple of ml of extra soil on top of that. After giving the whole thing a good soak, I covered it with the bottom of a plastic storage box. Exhibit B – the nursery box!

tomatoe nursery box

I didn’t really expect anything amazing to happen, but it did! This is the terracotta pot, absolutely full of tiny, 3rd generation tomato seedlings.

tomato terracotta pot

Once they’re big enough I’ll transplant them into individual pots and give some away to friends and neighbours. Watch out, you could be getting a 3rd generation tomato!

Have a great week,

Meeks


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