I often spend time thinking about what to have for dinner in the evening. Looking through recipe books, websites and reading blogs seems to consume an ever greater chunk of my day but its what I love.
I love reading a good cook book and one of my favorites has to be by one of my favorite chefs and food writers, Elizabeth David. Last year I bought one of her books, French Country Cooking. It was written just after the end of the second world war and is her introduction of French food to a bland and still rationed England. Its full of simple and uncomplicated recipes from the Provencial countryside. This was the type of cooking I enjoyed so much when we were on holiday last year.
The recipes are not always easy to follow as the ingredient list are woven into the recipe method so it isn’t always obvious what the ingredients are till you have thoroughly read through the recipe first. Though it may not be set out like a modern cook book I do love snuggling up with a cup of tea and reading through a few chapters. It has the kind of food and recipes which I really like to cook and love to eat.
Simple foods and recipes can often be the best and this is a simple base recipe which can be used to make too many different recipes to list here. Monday night I used it to make a very nice Bean and Sausage hotpot.
Goes with everything Tomato Sauce,
2 medium onions
2 sticks of celery
splash of balsamic vinegar
2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
3-4 small bayleafs
For the Roasted vegetables
4 cloves of garlic
1 large red pepper
2 red onions
handful of cherry tomatoes
handful of torn basil leafs
Begin with the roast vegetables. Quarter the onions and pepper and toss with the cherry tomatoes and unpeeled garlic in some olive oil. Transfer to a roastign try and sprinkle the basil leafs. Roast in the center of the oven for 30 – 40mins at 180c.
Finely chop the onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Heat 1tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan. Sweat the vegetables for around 10 minutes to soften them.
Add the bayleafs, sugar and salt and stir through.
Pour in the tomatoes and water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
Add the roasted vegetables and balsamic vinegar then simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
There you go. A simple tomato sauce which will go with everything from sausage and bean hotpot to a pizza topping to pasta.
- Butternut Squash and Regato Cannelloni in Tomato Sauce (russellskitchen.wordpress.com)
- Spinach and Tomato Sauce With Pasta (fat.ie)