What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Easy & Delicious Pasta Sauce

It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut where you are cooking the same meals on a 2 week rotation.  It’s well worth taking the time to experiment with new ideas - even simple ones - and it doesn’t have to take hours as this recipe will demonstrate.

As I’ve been cooking for this blog and trying a lot of new things of late, my husband has not had much of a chance to cook.  He really enjoys cooking (and is very good at it too!) so this is one of his recipes that he cooked up for me on Friday night

Normally for a pasta sauce we would use tinned tomatoes but the depth of flavour that you get from really fresh bright red tomatoes just can’t be beat.  Same with the fresh garlic, it is so much more flavoursome than the type that comes in a jar.

6 Tomatoes really ripe red ones (I used the vine ripened ones)
1 bulb of fresh garlic
2 red onions
2 small red chilis
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp red wine
Crumbled feta to serve
Whole olives to serve
Fresh basil to serve
Spaghetti or pasta to serve

1.    Preheat the oven to 200°C.  Cut the tomatoes and garlic bulb in half and place cut side up on a baking tray with the whole chilis.  Slice the red onions into quarters and add those. Drizzle with olive oil and season well
2.    Place in the oven for around 30 mins or until the tomatoes are looking a bit mushy and the garlic is soft to touch
3.    Cook the spaghetti according to the packet directions
4.    Take the garlic and squeeze all of the flesh out into a bowl, then add the tomato, chili, onion, wine and vinegar.  From here you can either break the mixture up with a fork (for a chunkier sauce) or whiz it in a blender until just combined.  Mix in the whole olives. 
5.    Place the spaghetti into a bowl, top with sauce, feta and basil and serve with a massive glass of red wine

A recipe like this is a great base to use for any pasta dish. You could lose the feta and olives, and maybe add chorizo, bacon, mushrooms, baby spinach - anything you’ve got in the fridge really - to change the flavour each time you make it.  

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