(Late) Summer Sauce
This could be the yummiest and cheapest pasta sauce you’ll ever make. Here’s what to do; go to your local farmers markets this weekend and buy a few big bags of cheap late summer vegetables. So for example, last week I filled the bottom of my pram with about four kilograms of tomatoes, squash and capsicums and paid just under $10. Then proceed with the recipe below!
If you are having friends over this weekend; make a batch of this sauce, toss it through pasta and shave some good parmesan on top, serve with a big green salad on the table and then finish with a batch of these brownies with pot-roasted rhubarb. Seriously that’s a great lunch or dinner menu that will take hardly any time and over-deliver on goodness.
The sauce is also great on pizza bases, tossed through pasta, poured over chicken breasts then baked…or my favourite; partnered up with some herby meatballs and then baked with some cooked penne with lots of grated cheese on top. Its other big bonus is that it ‘hides’ vegetables from fussy little people. You can ( I often do) throw in carrots, zucchini, broccoli and similar and they’ll never know.
If ever I wanted to convince somebody that farmers markets are cheaper than supermarkets (and I’m positive they are!), I’d take them shopping in March. Late summer produce is everywhere and soooo cheap; from tomatoes etc as mentioned above to new season apples and pears and the last of the plums, peaches and nectarines. All at the peak of their season, in plentiful supply, bursting with flavour and available at great prices. See.. local really is lovely!
(Late) Summer Sauce
1kg ripe tomatoes
2 red capsicums
500g yellow squash
2 red onions
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp sugar
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp rosemary leaves
olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 160C and line a big tray with baking paper. Cut all of the vegetables into chunks, all roughly the same size if possible. Peel the garlic cloves but leave whole. In a small bowl mix the sugar and tinned tomatoes together then pour over the vegetables and using your fingers work the sauce into every piece. Scatter with rosemary leaves and then drizzle with a little olive oil. Season to taste*. Place in preheated oven and cook for 2 hours, or until the vegetables have begun to caramelise and have collapsed into an aromatic heap. At this point I blend this into a nice smooth sauce, but that’s mostly because I’m hiding vegetables from my kids! You could serve it straight from the oven but it does seem to be a little more versatile when converted to ‘pouring’ consistency. Store in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
*Some finely chopped fresh chilli is great here but as I’m usually making this for kids, generally just pop a little bowl of it on the table when serving so those who want to can add as they choose.