A bit of this and that...with added frangipani.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How to Use Up Tomatoes from Someone Else's Garden

Well, hello there! It's been a while. It's been a busy old time with birthdays, visitors and a huge workload, but I won't bore you with the details (for now).

Will called me up the other day and told me that one of his co-workers had brought in some tomatoes from her garden. "Do we need any?" he asked.

I went to the fridge and looked at 1kg bag of tomatoes I had just bought. I said, "Not really. Maybe just one or two to taste; we've got lots already."

He came home with 2kgs of the silly things. Whatever would I do with 3kgs of tomatoes that had already seen better days?

Maybe I could make my own pasta sauce or passata (if you want to be fancy). This is where the internet is my friend. I Googled "How to make tomato passata" and I came up with this handy instructional video. It would have been handier if the video actually worked, but no matter, I got what I needed from the written instructions.

I'll include them again here for convenience.

Ingredients:

  • 2kg tomatoes
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • Rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tblsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil

Method:

  1. Grow some tomatoes or better yet, get someone else to grow them and give them to you (or you can buy them for a bargain on the last day of the weekend farmers' market).
  2.  
  3. Preheat oven to 180C. Wash, trim and cut tomatoes in half. Place in the baking tray, cut side up, while adding the other ingredients.
  4.  
  5. Break up the bulb of garlic into unpeeled cloves and scatter amongst the cut tomatoes. Drizzle oil and vinegar over the top of the tomatoes and sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper and the caster sugar. Flip the cut tomatoes over so that the skin side is up.
  6.  
  7. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Go sit outside, because the smell in the house will be divine and you'll want to eat the contents of your pantry in your aroma-driven food frenzy. Let the tomatoes cool and remove blackened skins (this was not in the original instructions, but is important if you don't want to have bits of tomato skin in every bite of your pasta sauce). Remove and discard skins of the garlic.
  8.  
  9. Place the tomatoes and garlic in a food processor or blender and process until it is a coarse purée. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Brag on the internet about making home-made passata - check!
I ended up using some of this in the slow-cooker over lamb chops with some chopped onion, celery, carrot and a splash of red wine. Delish! The rest of the passata is frozen, waiting for a lazy cooking day--shouldn't be long before I use it up!
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