A recent trip to Costco yielded a 6kg box of lovely ripe tomatoes. Paul and I decided to have a cook-off - split the box in half and each produce a tomato sauce to our own taste and then compare. But this is my blog so you only get to see my efforts...
I decided to concentrate the tomato flavour by roasting them. I peeled, quartered and seeded the tomatoes, then pushed the seeds through a sieve to get as many of the juices into the sauce as possible. I packed them in a single layer in a roasting tin, sprinkled a little olive oil over them and studded the tomatoes with whole peeled garlic cloves and a couple of sliced green chillies. A small seasoning of salt and into a slow oven for 2 hours.
The tomatoes cooked down almost to a puree. I split the cooked sauce into 3 portions, froze 2 and used one the following night for dinner.
We had a lot of rare roast beef left over from a previous meal. I'd been thinking about a week of beef sandwiches for lunch, but then I decided it had a better fate. Apparently it used to be traditional to mince the leftover Sunday roast and produce it for Monday dinner - as cottage pie or rissoles or something.
I chopped the beef (and another green chilli, just in case you were concerned by the green flecks in my mince) and put it through the mincer.
I fried a chopped onion and some sliced garlic in some olive oil, added a heap of dried herbs (rosemary, celery seed, oregano, thyme and marjoram) and a sliced yellow pepper. When the pepper was slightly softened I added the mince, then a portion of the roasted tomato sauce.
After a nice slow simmer I served it on wholemeal spaghetti with grated parmesan.
It was very tasty! The ground beef produced a much finer-textured sauce than raw mince does. There was a lot of liquid (normally my meat sauce can support a spoon) but it was very full-flavoured and much richer than I would have expected.