Here's something I never thought I'd be sharing here: a recipe.
Well ... almost ...
I’m not even an amateur recipe writer [although, trust me, by the end of this recipe the word ‘amateur’ will be at the forefront of your mind …]
In fact, it’s so easy to make it’s the kind of recipe anyone who doesn’t like following recipes might actually be happy to follow.
After all, it’s already the kind of recipe that someone who’s never written a recipe before might actually write.
So let's get started with my Italian stir-in style pasta sauce ...
[Mainly because there are two of us at home to eat it. If you are mid an exceptional carb-craving episode and end up keeping it all for yourself, I won’t judge.]
- Large homegrown tomatoes.
- Or any tomatoes you have. Any at all. And preferably those you need to get rid of in a hurry.
- Use the oldest, squishiest, most likely to explode, leak, and attract flies, first.
- I used around 10 but the amount will depend on how many you can fit in that single roasting tin you own that spends most of its life in the bottom of the oven, empty.
- Around 25 button mushrooms.
- This is only a rough estimate. You just need to fish out however many you’ve got lurking in the bottom drawer of the fridge as long as they’re not mouldy or slimy. Which I accept is a long shot.
- Around 5 green olives.
- Or however many you have left over in the fridge since the last time you entertained guests. [If your guests find olives entertaining that is.]
- 4 large cloves of garlic, skin on.
- Fresh oregano leaves. Chopped.
- The amount of oregano you use will depend upon how much the person you asked to fetch some in from the garden brings back with them.
- Top Tip: Just make do with however much oregano they deliver; this is autumn, it’s chilly out there, and while they may happily fetch you some the first time round, a second trip may be pushing it.
- Salt and black pepper to season.
- Olive oil.
- Pasta shapes of your choice.
- I went for fusilli, but you may prefer penne, or even novelty penguins or penises. It's all the same really. [Unless you're planning to put it in your child's school lunch box. Then you might want to lay off the penises.]
Wash and halve the tomatoes. [To be truthful I didn’t wash mine, but then I did used to eat mud as a child so, in the ingestion-of-dirt stakes, I’m really no example to live by.]
Trim away any of the core/stem.
Cram the mushrooms, olives and tomatoes, skin side down, into the baking tray, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and the chopped oregano.
[This is the baking tray I used. A food-blogger would probably have photographed it when it was clean.]
Hide the garlic cloves beneath the tomatoes.
This is to prevent their skin burning during cooking rather than as part of some elaborate game. Do not shout ‘Coming ready or not’.
Drizzle with olive oil. [The most food-writery thing I’ve ever written.]
Roast in an oven preheated to 220* degrees for 10 minutes.
*This is a guide only as the middle range of numbers on my oven wore off long ago and, unlike a conscientious Bake-Off contestant I never cook anything that ever really necessitates accuracy.
Basically you just need to have the temperature dial set somewhere past half way but not as far as full whack. As Delia has never said.
Reduce heat to … well … less than whatever you, or I, had it on for the first 10 minutes and cook for a further 15-20 until the tomato juice is bubbling and the kitchen begins to smell like you know what you’re doing.
Completely forget to take photos of the process because, after all, you’re not a food writer or blogger.
Turn off the heat and leave tray in the oven to continue cooking as it cools.
Optional. If you want to eat it then and there, in your pyjamas, I say go for it.
If, like me, you’ve been preparing another meal while this sauce has been roasting go and eat the other meal while watching a recorded episode of Pointless.
3 hours later, after Pointless is long over but while the smugness of getting an actual pointless answer lives-on, go to the toilet. [You may or may not have had two glasses of wine after tea. And mid-week too. Get you!]
While there, start pondering what you can make for tomorrow’s lunch then suddenly remember that you domestic-goddessed the life out of some tomatoes back when it was still daylight and that they’re still in the oven waiting for you!
Flush. [And wash your hands.]
Put the TV on pause.
Rescue the now-cooled tray from oven and remove the skins from the roasted garlic cloves.
Cook and drain the pasta.
Blend together the cooled tomato mixture with a hand blender until smooth, but not entirely liquid.
Stir the sauce into the pasta and put it into a bowl or storage container.
Make the person nearest to you smell just how ‘properly Italian’ it smells, then put it into the fridge ready to be reheated at lunch the following day.
|My lunch, the following day.|
Leave the pots and pans near the sink, go and un-pause the TV, put your feet up and marvel at your achievement.
If, through a miracle or pity you give this recipe a try ... do let me know. James and I lived to tell the tale and I'll be making it again this week so ... that's some sort of recommendation. Kind of.
If you've enjoyed this can you do me a gigantic favour and share it. Somewhere. Anywhere. I don't mind. Tell a friend using social media, or just your mouth. Either works for me.
I'd like to make a real go of this writing thing and what's a writer without readers? [Other than 'lonely' and 'wondering what they're doing with their life'. But .. apart from that ... ]
Thanks and buon appetito!