Its day three of my 30 days avoiding almost all sugar. Mmm, the taste of paradise. Fortunately its as true of a fresh tomato sauce as it is of a Bounty Bar. Yesterday I spotted the chocolate clad coconut delicacy and for a brief moment I allowed the idea of it to linger on my mind. From my mind it soon found its way to my imaginary taste buds but, dear reader, I am made of much sterner stuff. It was off to the kitchen to make dinner.
I had a little exchange on social media last night about the merits of electric bread makers. For me they have no merit but I fully accept that if its a choice between supermarket bread and a bread maker loaf then the bread maker wins hands down every single time. My issue is more that using a machine takes away the most joyful part of making bread, and its a part which takes hardly any time anyway. Kneading the average loaf takes about ten minutes so whats so hard about that? In addition you can relieve a bit of your stress through the hugely therapeutic pushing and folding of the dough. You never need be rough with dough, its a living thing. After you make it by hand you can feel rightfully proud that you put something of yourself on the table and I don’t mean the bit of your thumb you might have cut off whilst making pizza after a couple of pints. (Yes I did, but it was years ago and I have grown up a bit now)
We often completely overestimate the effort it takes to create something wonderful. Last nights supper was spaghetti with homemade roasted tomato sauce. Epic. It took about two minutes to put the olive oil, tomatoes and garlic on the baking tray, another five minutes skinning them and the garlic after emergence from the oven and another thirty seconds to whizz it all up with the hand blender and you don’t even have to do that if you prefer a more rustic arrangement. The joke of it is that my personal intervention with the sauce took, in total, less time than the ten minutes it took to cook the pasta. Don’t have time to cook fresh food for dinner? Who are you kidding?
Once again, apologies for the picture but I only had my iPhone on me and I was hungry because I worked 8am till 8pm yesterday so go on to me about too tired to cook. I have got you all ways round.
Fresh Roasted Tomato Sauce
Two packs of cherry tomatoes (about 500g)
4 or 5 cloves of garlic unpeeled
A couple of glugs of olive oil
A splash of white wine vinegar (You could use balsamic but I can’t because its too sugary)
Juice of a lemon (optional)
Basil leaves (optional)
Heat the oven to gas 4/190c.
Put the tomatoes on a shallow baking tray and tuck the cloves of garlic amongst them. Glug the olive oil over the fruits and a splash of vinegar. If you have one lying about you could add a halved chilli for a bit of kick. Put the tray in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your tomatoes. They are done when they are soft and beginning to char.
When they are cold enough to handle slide the skins off and put the tomatoes in a pan which the garlic also removed of skin. Make sure you scrape the baking tray into the pan because the savouriness here is absolute gold. Whizz the whole lot up with a hand blender and taste. Season with a little salt and black pepper and if its too sweet squeeze in the juice of a lemon or a lime.
Tear up a few basil leaves and add to the sauce.
Cook the pasta, and spoon over the sauce added some freshly grated parmesan.
Molto bene. Believe me