Home made Tomato Pasta Sauce


We love Italian food !! It has very much become a staple diet. Pasta is something that we have atleast once a week, if not twice !! The days that have a buzy 7.30 am to 6 pm , I am sure to stir up the sauce into pasta that day. But we definitely do not stick to our monotonous flavours.. Its not just Creamy Tomato Sauce or White sauce always.. We do have a Chinese version , thats my favourite ;) . Coriander Pesto Sauce  - thats Hari's favourite !! And more...
Can you believe I got my mom to like the Pasta genre . She was quite an antipasti.. until I made one for her when she visited me years before.. Amma like it butter laddened and loads of vegetable finely chopped with a dash of salt, pepper and chopped jalapenos. Its definitely history!!!

A few days back ,when I chanced upon a visit to the Indian grocer , I found Vine tomatoes dearth cheap.. 64p a kilo when our super market giants like Tesco's to M&S sell them for 1.8£ to 3£. I could not hold myself back and brought bags:) Well thats the Indian heart in me or the chef in me, I decided to make something and stack it for the cold wintery days yet to come..
 
That was one buzy day !! And it had to be pasta for dinner ! Yaaay !! exclaims my lil miss bumblebee.. She loves her pasta loaded with butter and cheese. While making ours, I opened a bottle of Lloyds Grosman Tomato Basil sauce and it Occured in my mind.
Pasta Sauce it is !! I had to make mine to use up the tomatoes . And what else?? I made a Curry Paste that will come handy when my guests come around.

I googled to understand the making of passata and then the sauce. Tarla Dalal's recipe came quite handy and I have altered the ingredients and proportions to suit our taste.


HOMEMADE TOMATO PASTA SAUCE

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 PREP TIME        COOK TIME          TOTAL TIME
 10 Min             30 Min            40 Min
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 Shelf Life : Under a week Refrigerated.
Adapted from : Tarla Dalal's Tomato Sauce
INGREDIENTS:
5     
Large Vine Tomatoes  
1
Bay leaf
2
Dried Red Chillies
10-12
Shallot Onions
2
Cloves of Garlic
½
Green Pepper , deseeded
2 tsp
Tomato Puree
2 Tbsp.
Tomato Ketchup
1 Tsp
Dried Basil
1 Tsp
Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp.
Olive Oil
Salt
to Taste
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DIRECTIONS:
  • Blanch the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water. Once it cools down, peel the skin, deseed the tomatoes and chop them into fine pieces.
  • Finely chop onions, pepper and mince the garlic.
  • Heat oil in a broad pan and add bay leaf and dried red chillies. Sauté for about 30 seconds. Throw the onions, garlic and pepper ,all at once and sauté them for a 3-4 minutes , until the onions are soft .
  • Pop in the chopped tomato and let the pulp simmer in for at least 10 - 12 minutes, until the sauce reduces. 
  • Add in Tomato Puree, Tomato Ketchup, Dried herbs and the about 1tsp of salt and cook for another 10 minutes. Once the desired consistency is achieved, switch off the gas and move the sauce pan on a hot stand, letting it cool down.
  • Refrigerate and use as may desired.
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TO WHIP A TOMATO PASTA

  • Boil a pot of hot water and drop in the pasta to be cooked along with a tsp of oil and a pinch of salt.. Cook, according to the intructions of the packet upto Aldente.Drain the pasta and let cool down by passing it under running tap water. Set it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of Olive oil and add 2 tsp of the pasta sauce. Saute for about 1 minute and add the cooked pasta . Adjust your seasoning accordingly like adding more salt , pepper , pepper flakes if desired . Grate some cheese and enjoy it warm.
  • If you like fry veggies like carrots and peas and add it before adding pasta sauce.
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NOTES:

The original recipe calls for adding 1/4 a cup of ketchup. I have tried it in my first batch and found it sweetening my sauce. Hence I have omitted the sugar called for as well.
The recipe also calls for removing the bay leaf, peppercorns and green peppers. But I like to retain them in my jar to retain the flavours.


Sending my much loved Pasta Sauce to Simply Pasta event hosted by Nayna Kanabar at Simply food , a brainchild of Jacqueline of Tinned tomatoes.

 

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I am in Love with Corn ! Now its H , big boy V and Lil Miss S !! It’s such a healthy vegetable and is right enough as a starter at home. Being a purist, I like to enjoy it just in its original form many times.. SOmetimes with the natural flavouring - Butter + Salt. Sometimes a little more seasoning ...
Corn on the Cob can be had in a barbeque or in a picnic, right as a summer treat !!




 This post of mine has been trickled by an event - Saturday Snapshots hosted by Shweta and Siri. The theme for this week was a yellow vegetable /fruit. I have been rubbing my little head hard to portray the Corn on the Cob the best.The props, background and most of all to retain the simplicity of this lovely ingredient. Before I assembled them all on the picture, I had assembled them all in my petite sized head. A few days ago, I wrote to a beautiful lady - Farruk Shadab from Cubes and Julinnes. She has been really kind helping me understand the basics of photography on a dark background. A set up which I couldn’t have put together without her tutorials..Thank you Farruk fondly known as Nishi!


 


School holidays in full force, we are thoroughly enjoying the break  trying to break every rule of the routine. Doing things that we don’t stand a chance when the school term begins.... So there is constant hustle tussle around... Amidst that, doing a complete set up with pictures is a hooligan task. OOOPS!! Have I started echoing all over again about the school break and its manifestations??

CORN ON THE COB RECIPE

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 PREP TIME        COOK TIME          TOTAL TIME
 5 Min             12 Min            17 Min
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Recipe type: Snack, Starter
Serves: 2 - 4 People
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INGREDIENTS:
·         2 ears of sweet Corn – husked
·         Two knobs of Butter
·         A fat pinch of Salt
·         A pinch of Pepper
·         A pinch of Chilli
·         Lemon Wedges
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DIRECTIONS:
 I have bought a husked corn that you get in the super market. So all that I needed to do is give it a good wash and steam it for about 12-14 minutes in a cooker.  But I have tried the other methods in various instances. There are many ways to cook the sweet corn. 


METHODS OF COOKING SWEETCORN

Method 1 : Steaming in a Cooker 

Rinse the corn under running tap water and place in a pan that fits inside your cooker and steam it for 12 - 14 minutes. Remember to fill water inside the cooker before you place the pan. Remove it from the cooker and set it aside to be seasoned.

Method 2: Boiling in an open pan

Rinse the corn under running tap water to get of any grim. Use a large open pot that can fit the corn end to end and fill it with water just enough to cover the corn. It will take about a minute to get boiling. Now place the corn in the pot, add 1/2 tsp of salt if you like and allow it to cook for 7 minutes roughly. Check if it’s cooked by running a paring knife on the cob. Once cooked, pull it off from the pot and get it ready for seasoning.
**To speed up this method, I always heat up water in my kettle and pour it over the corn.

Method 3: Microwave

Clean out the tassels and wash the corn inside out to get rid of any impurities. Place both the ears of the corn on a microwave dish and sprinkle about 1 tblspn of water. Cover it with a microwave safe lid and cook it for about 5 minutes. Leave them to settle for 1 more minute after cooking and then get them out and place them on a plate, ready to be dressed.
** Every Microwave has a different setting and wattage. 5 Minutes stated above is just approximate, what I have tried.  Each ear approximately needs 3- 4 Minutes to cook. Every ear of cob added will need more minutes. Accordingly increase the time. 
There are more ways to cook them like Grilling and roasting them on the gas oven. But since I haven’t done them in recent times, I haven’t mentioned the time and the method. Over a period of time, as I do it I shall update this post.

SEASONING THE CORN ON THE COB

Method 1 :

  •       A knob of Salted Butter. 
This is the Most preferable way to serve it to the kids. I do it this way and my kids love it. 
Rub a knob of salted butter over the ear of the cob and serve them straight to the kids. I chop an ear of the corn into two pieces making the sizes portion able to eat for the little ones. A good muscle power is needed to chop them into two halves.
*** If Salted butter is not available, Sweep some spreadable salted butter over the corn.

 Method 2:
  •         A knob of Unsalted Butter
  •          A pinch of Salt
  •         A pinch of Pepper
 Brush the butter over the corn. Sprinkle the salt uniformly and pepper sparingly. This method of seasoning is enjoyed universally - babies to big boys and the big girls (U & me!! too).

 Method 3 :
  • A knob of Salted butter
  • A pinch of Chilli Powder
  • A pinch of Pepper Powder
  • Lemon Wedges
Brush the knob of salted butter on the cob. Sprinkle uniformly a pinch of chilli powder & salt. Rub the lemon wedges on them and serve them right away. Enjoy it warm!
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NOTES:

There are N numbers of ways to season this delectable Corn. I have mentioned three of my family favourite ways. Enjoy them my way and do share your family favourite approach too. If you buy the sweet corn along with the tassels from your market, make sure u strip it first and clean the in and out before you start processing it.
Retain the tassels. They come quite handy. If you want to grill it, the tassels form a protective shell. We can use it to hold the corn instead of a plate too.




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