|Soon to be tomato sauce|
Chop a couple of onions and cook gently in some olive oil (mine was chilli oil) until transparent. Add a chopped pepper, chopped fresh tomatoes and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, put the lid on the pan and let them cook on a very low heat for 5 or 10 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes and a teaspoon or 2 of sugar, give it a good stir, replace the lid and cook until the peppers are soft. If it's looking a bit watery then take the lid off and let it cook a bit longer. Blend thoroughly so that children cannot spot tomato seeds, chunks of actual vegetable or bits of skin. Add herbs, ricotta or mascarpone, pieces of cooked bacon, prawns etc, as desired and stir through pasta. It can also be used as a base for spaghetti bolognese if you are in the mood for meat.
I serve pasta with plenty of finely grated Grana Padano cheese - the same taste as Parmesan but made with skimmed milk, and slightly cheaper. Win-win!
Last chance for blackberries
Blackberry compoteBlackberries, sugar and a couple of squeezes of lemon cooked slowly in a pan until the fruit disintegrates. Cool and serve with ice cream or yogurt.
Blackberry vodkaPut 600g blackberries and 200g caster sugar into a large bottle/jar and pour over 1 litre of cheap vodka. Shake it up a bit until the sugar starts dissolving, then put it in a cool dark place and shake once a week for the next 3 months. Strain and re-bottle, chucking away the berries. If you get it going this weekend you could be using it at Christmas - gifted in pretty bottles, swigged while you sweat over a large-breasted bird, or sloshed into Granny's Ribena... And one of your 5-a-day too!
|Pear and plum crumble|
Yesterday's crumble - pear and plum - ready to eat when the juices have bubbled up over the edges of the crumble and the top is golden brown.