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7 Things we could Make at Home instead of Buying

Pasta Sauces

This post has already been read 2868 times!

I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this cooking faux-pas. Buying pasta sauce is easy, buy the results are rarely as good as you could make yourself with about half an hour and some basic fridge and cupboard ingredients.

It struck me after I tasted a particularly insipid Jamie Oliver pasta sauce which promised so much with its wonderful marketing department, but delivered so little in the taste department. It seems Oliver’s lost his interest in food quality in lieu of making tons of cash. I suspect if you went back ten years or so, a more principled man would have told you, “You don’t need to buy those Lloyd Grossman pasta sauces, you can knock one up yourself with a very basic ingredients”. Except now it’s his face on a jar of bland, over-sweetened, over-priced pasta sauce.

A simple tin of tomatoes combined with some bits from the fridge is all you need to make a quick pasta sauce: garlic, onion, capsicum, olives, capers, anchovies, gherkins, red chilli, mushrooms, courgettes, aubergine, and herbs (basil, oregano or even Herbes de Provence) call all be used to great effect when making a delicious home made tomato sauce.

If you have ingredients in the fridge looking for something to go into, this is the perfect time for a ‘ready steady cook’ type dish. Add a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt and grind of pepper to season, and cook it for long enough to let the other flavours infuse into the tomato sauce, and for the tomato sauce to reduce a little. Delicious tomato sauce. Pronto.

The other pasta sauce you can make is a cheese sauce for which you need equal quantities of butter and plain flour to make a roux, before adding milk. When you have a basic white sauce, grate in some nutmeg and add salt and black pepper, before adding the grated cheese of your choice. Cheddar and parmesan work well, but any melting cheese will work. Add fried pancetta and fried mushrooms and you have yourself a quick and easy pasta dish.

Spaghetti carbonara is equally easy: egg yolks and a little cream whisked in a bowl with some grated parmesan when stirred through hot drained pasta produces a quick and delicious meal. Add bacon (pancetta or lardons), mushrooms and some chopped parsely on top. It takes all of 10 minutes to make.

Start of by experimenting with flavours from the fridge, making sure that you fry things properly before adding to the tomato. Get yourself some of the elements above, especially, capers, olives and anchovies which deliver a salty, acidic kick to the sweetness of the tomatoes.

This post has already been read 2868 times!' Andrew • February 24, 2015

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