I probably couldn’t have picked a more classic recipe to post than this. But sometimes a classic is golden and when done right, with the epitome of flavour-packed tomatoes, you just can’t go wrong. Adding a little spice to this tomato sauce is my way of making it mine, and using these meaty, juicy Maltese tomatoes is what really makes the sauce so awesome. If you have crap, drenched in pesticides and tasteless tomatoes…well you’re going to get a less awesome sauce 🙂
Sometimes we forget about the simple ingredients and how nutritious they really are. Tomatoes roll in with loads of Vitamin C, K and A (beta-carotene) and pack a chunky amount of potassium, folate and biotin to name a few. With this recipe I thought I’d remind everyone just how amazing these chubby red fruit are and how simple it is to make a sauce like this that you can either store in the fridge (about 1 week) or freeze (3-4 months). I’ve used this recipe for a simple pasta dish (my spaghetti is made of rice and corn…I digest this way better than wheat) and also as the salsa for baked enchiladas a few weeks ago. It also tastes super spread on a piece of toast with olive oil and some fresh cheese like Ġbejniet 🙂
Ingredients for the tomato sauce
Fills approx.3 ‘Bonne Maman’ jars (roughly 1KG)
11 medium Maltese Tomatoes (approx. 850grams)
1 red paprika
1 large jalapeno
5 garlic cloves
½ white onion
4 tablespoons Kunserva (tomato paste)
½ a stock cube (I used Kallo garlic& onion)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Some sea salt and pepper
A handful of basil leaves
Fresh (or dried) rosemary
Some agave syrup (or honey)
Couple spinach leaves (optional) *
*I added the spinach leaves purely because I wanted to clear out the fridge J Ended up being a good idea but if you don’t have-no problemo!
How to make the tomato sauce
Chop the tomatoes in half. In a grill pan, with a drizzle of olive oil, add the tomatoes meaty side facing down and let them sizzle for a couple minutes. Then (I used a tong) flip them so the meaty inside is facing up. Season with a teeny bit of sea salt, pepper and some fresh rosemary (I chopped it very finely and sprinkled all over/ about 1 stem). Drizzle some agave syrup over the tomatoes.
Slice the jalapeno lengthwise and discard the stem and some of the seeds (I kept about half the seeds in the jalapeno as I wanted a spicy kick). Then add this too to the grill pan and cook on both sides.
Tip: when the jalapeno seeds start to fry you may start coughing…at least I did. Was so weird but apparently normal for a sensitive nose like mine. So the tip is, don’t freak out if you start coughing while cooking the jalapeno! Oh and don’t itch your eye or anything else after fiddling round with that jalapeno…it buuurns! haha
Once the tomato skins look wrinkled they’re ready.
In a large pan or wok gently fry the garlic (chopped finely) and onion (chopped roughly) in a little oil (I used veg oil). Then add the chopped red pepper and stir. Now add the soft/cooked and packed-with-flavour tomatoes and jalapeno to your large pan and combine them all real well. Add the tomato paste, the oregano seasoning and the basil leaves (torn into the pan). In about 2 or 3 tablespoons of boiling water mix the ½ stock cube until it dissolves and add to the pan. If you’re using spinach leaves you can chuck them in now. Let it gently simmer for at least 10 minutes (if you have time…leave it longer. This allows all the flavours to dance together a little longer).
Using a ladle, pour the contents of the pan into a blender/mixer.
Tip: Do not use a Nutribullet as they were not built for hot liquids. If you don’t have another option then let the tomato/jalapeno/paprika concoction cool before putting it in your Nutribullet.
Blend till you get a smooth consistency but with some chunky bits in it. I prefer a few small bits of tomato or pepper or onion to bite on while eating…if you want it silky smooth then blend on 🙂 Once it’s done, put it back in the pan and taste it. Season accordingly. If it’s too spicy add a little sweetener, and if it’s not spicy enough grind away that pepper mill.
Lasts about 1 week in the fridge or else freeze it on the same day of making it (just let it cool).
P.S it’s vegan 🙂