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March 15, 2004 | by  | in Opinion |
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(Recipe) Tomatoes

This week, make friends with a tomato. Not only are they versatile and yummy, but at the moment they’re cheap as well (the perfect friend, some might say…). You have no excuses not to be using them left right and centre.

Fresh tomatoes can be stored in the fridge, but are significantly better ripened and served at room temperature. Canned tomatoes are also extremely valuable – a humble can of tomatoes can easily be spiced up to form the basis of a wonderful meal.

Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce

Cook a huge batch of spaghetti bolognaise and freeze it in family (or flat) sized serves. Tastier and cheaper than pre-made pasta sauces.

Base
2 T Olive oil (or other cooking oil)
2 Onions, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 handful each of chopped basil and oregano (or 2 – 3t each of dried equivalents)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2-3 T Tomato paste
A pinch of sugar
0.5 C White wine (or 2t Balsamic vinegar)

In a large saucepan, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are soft. Add herbs and seasoning and fry for a further minute before adding the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adjust flavours to your liking. Serve with your favourite variety of pasta – serves six.

Variations
Bolognaise
Add 500g of mince when sautéing onions and garlic. Brown the mince and drain off fat before continuing with sauce recipe.

Seafood
Add as many prawns/mussels as you like after the sauce has been simmering for about 15 minutes. For extra flavour, add 2T sweet chilli sauce or 2t chilli powder.

Vegetarian
Add chopped capsicum, mushrooms, etc. when sautéing onions and garlic. Continue with sauce recipe. Chopped spinach could also be added with 5 minutes remaining.

Tips
If the sauce becomes too dry, just add another slosh of wine or some more tomatoes.
Try not to omit the tomato paste, as this will give the sauce a richer flavour and colour. Don’t try to substitute tomato paste with tomato sauce – they are entirely different things.

Tomato Salsa
This is colourful salsa that is great with corn fritters, burritos and nachos – to name but a few.

4-6 fresh tomatoes, diced
Half a red onion, diced (or a small amount of white onion, finely diced)
1 Green capsicum, diced
0.5C Corn kernels
2T Sweet chilli sauce
1T Lemon juice/Balsamic vinegar
2T chopped coriander and/or mint

Mix and serve fresh!

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