Posts Tagged ‘tomato sauce’


I was surprised to see locally grown green peppers–(they are lighter and thinly fleshed)–in the market yesterday, nudging small white peaches on a new stall.

Everything is so late this year.


I remembered a recipe I used to do years ago from Antonio Carluccio’s Vegetables book. Very Italian–simple and different.

The peppers are cooked whole in olive oil. They collapse, charring nicely and are finished in a quickly cooked tomato sauce.

If these particular peppers are unavailable use thicker fleshed ones–deseeded and cut into largish pieces.

500gm/1lb green peppers–tops and seeds removed

6 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves–chopped

14oz/400gm tin of tomatoes–drained of their juice and roughly chopped (fresh sun -ripe tomatoes, skinned and seeded would be good too)

salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a deepish pan.

When the oil is hot carefully slide in the peppers–you may have to do this in two batches.

Turn them as they collapse and brown, for about 5 minutes–they should be tender.

Set them aside and spoon off four tablespoons of the oil–(I used this oil for sautéing later).

Slip the garlic into the oil.

When it starts to colour, mix in the chopped tomatoes.

Cook these over a high heat for five minutes to form a sauce.

Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the peppers and cook on for another five minutes.

We ate these for supper last night served on lightly sautéed (in the excess oil) slices of leftover chickpea “bread” .


A recipe remembered and reclaimed.

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This guy weighed in at 750gms/1lb 10oz!

I’m making a simple fresh tomato sauce with garlic and basil

First we go to La Fête du Pain, [the Bread Festival] in Lautrec. I find a convenient parking place–not easy.

Kids welcome you with an entrance sticker and a little sack of Lautrec flour (the village has one of the oldest working windmills in the South West!)…

and wish you “Bonne Journée ” with eager faces.


A percussion group climb up to the village in front of us.

Baritone and crisp side drums keep a good rhythm, making it sound like Sienna on Palio day.

We reach the square and “BANG”–du monde–too many people–too much noise!

I’m not grumpy–just not geared up for the crowd.

I leave Meredith there with her camera and drive home (losing the parking place).

Starting the sauce

I start the sauce* and feel better.

Meredith rings and says there’s a stall grilling lamb and sausages.

I rally and make my way back to Lautrec (retrieving the parking place).

After waiting in line for an age, we sit down with two plates of meat in the upper village square.

I buy two small glasses of red–1 euro each–and break the pledge a day early. We feel no guilt.

It’s definitely a “Jour de Fête“–happy crowds “milling” [jour du pain!] and “teeming” .

Plenty for the kids to do too–like learning to make pizza….

Eager students...

and “Guessing the Grain”…

"Older children"--guessing which grain is which!

and I’ve cheered up too!

Felicitations, LAUTREC!!

Simple fresh Tomato sauce

1 1/2lb/700gms–ripe tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 fat cloves of garlic–sliced finely

a few basil leaves–chopped


Heat the oil in a pan.

Sauté the garlic gently in the oil until it starts to colour.

Chop the tomatoes–scooping out and leaving aside much of the seedy liquid.

Add them to the pan.

Cook them over a medium heat, stirring from time to time, for about 20 minutes.

When you can divide the red sea with a spoon and little pock marks appear in the sauce is done.

Season and serve as you like.

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In the previous post the Courgette muffins can be served on a pool of sieved tomato sauce or coulis.

Here it is–better late than never!

Adapted from the first River Café Cook Book, this is very useful for

spreading on grilled aubergines or to accompany tuna, mackerel or salmon.

Or as a purée to serve the courgette muffins on.

3 cloves of garlic – peeled and finely sliced

4 tbsp olive oil

2 x 800 g/28 oz tins tomatoes – drained of their juice

salt and pepper

  • Fry the garlic gently in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan but do not let it brown.
  • Add the broken up tomatoes and the salt and pepper.
  • Cook on a high heat, stirring frequently to prevent it burning, and watch out for splattering.
  • Use the biggest wooden spoon you have.
  • This will take about 20 minutes.
  • When little red pock marks appear, making it look as though the surface of the moon has turned red, you know it is almost there.
  • It will have reduced considerably to a thick sauce with very little liquid left.
  • Add the last two tablespoons of olive oil, taste and check the seasoning.
  • To turn this into a coulis (puréed sauce), let it cool a little, then work it through a sieve–this takes a little time.
  • Then reheat it.
  • A tablespoonful on a plate looks like a deep red setting sun.

Two months to go!

(from Delicious Dishes for Diabetics–published August 4th in the UK and November 1st in the USA)

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