Tag Archives: new kitchen

A good excuse and pasta sauce

7 Apr

Okay, I know that I said that I wouldn’t further neglect the much neglected TTK, particularly for the (very poor) excuse of not liking my kitchen.  Well, I have a good excuse for having done so lately and it involves spending an entire week being able to stomach nothing but cereal.  Yep – I’m up the duff.

Thankfully, I seem to have passed into the second trimester mostly unscathed and am starting to feel significantly more like eating food that is, well… not either cereal or tomato sandwiches.  So, I’m going to try and begin again in earnest.  Particularly now that I can start thinking about what kinds of wonderful wholesome foods I need to put into my body now that I’m growing a tiny human.

Add to this the fact that we are moving (hooray!) and our new place will have a kitchen.  I don’t just mean some stock bench-space, a hob, an oven, a sink.  I mean an entire room devoted to cooking.  A whole room – with some wonderful bench space – that I can lock myself into and devote to food creation.

And to celebrate, here is something which is specifically for my friend B.  While she was still living in London we talked about how to create something like this and I said that I would organise some kind of recipe for her.  Of course, I never did – but here it is.

A stock standard home-made tomato pasta sauce

What you need:

– slightly overripe tomatoes.  I used cherry tomatoes for this, but you can use any kind.

-good quality olive oil

-herbs of your choice (I use basil)

What you need to do:

Skin your tomatoes.  The easiest way to do this is to cut a little cross into the bottom side of each tomato and submerge it in boiling water.  Once you pull it out you should be able to just peel the skin away – if not, just dunk it back into the water.

Put all your tomatoes, along with a little drizzle of olive oil, into an oven proof dish.  If you’re using big tomatoes then cut them up into quarters or eighths, cherry and baby tomatoes you can just put in as is.  Put them into a moderately hot oven, something around 200 should be fine.  Leave them for about half an hour.

Pull the dish out and smush them up with a fork.  Be careful!  You might get squirted with some very hot tomato seeds and other assorted innards.  Smush as much as you can.  Pop them back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

At this stage, I like to transfer the tomatoes into a pot and put them on the stove – covered – to simmer down a bit more.  This is also a good time to add in some chopped up fresh (or dried, if you like/that’s all you have) herbs.  This stage is a bit more up to you.  If you don’t mind a chunky sauce, you won’t want to leave them simmering for too long.  If you want something a bit smoother you will want to cook them down a little bit more.  If you are so inclined you can wizz your sauce up for something a little bit smoother.

Now – you can either use this sauce as is.  Or, you can add things – soy milk, cream, cheese is fine, if you are so inclined you can add some cooked brown lentils or TVP to make something closer to a bolognese.  At the ‘transfer to the pot’ stage you can start by adding some finely chopped onions or leeks, carrots or celery also go really well.  Before you finish, throw in a dash of red wine for something a bit richer.   You can really do anything you like with it.  It’s also freezable, so you can make a huge batch and freeze it off.

And then, obviously, you eat it.  (Although the days of final-dish photos with a huge glass of red wine are over for me for a while, please feel free to have one if you are devouring this sauce!)



3 Oct

The all-new (literally) Thoughtful Kitchen Kitchen!  Yes, it is a corner – but it does contain an oven (hooray) and a four burner stove top (electric, which I will have to get used to!)  Last night we bought a baking tray from a store called Poundland (as you can probably guess, everything costs £1) and so, tonight culinary creation begins.

However – I have made a few things since moving in, and I wanted mostly to show you the very first cooked meal that this kitchen produced (don’t get your hopes up, it’s quite underwhelming):

Yes – it’s pasta.  I also just used a jar of sauce and added some generic veges to it.  See.  Very underwhelming.  At least you get a nice photo of Rupert The Honeymoon Duck as well.

But, I also wanted to gloat a little about how WONDERFUL food labeling in this country is.  It’s just sensational.  I haven’t had any problems at all, and many things even say very clearly on the packet ‘Suitable for Vegan.’  Also, I found out that my local Waitrose supermarket has Rice Dream.  And, it is awesome.

I was actually dreading having to ‘start fresh’ – I mean, S and I pretty much know what we like, what brands are good and can get in and out of the supermarket pretty easily, but that all changes when you arrive in a new country.  However, after realising how good the labeling is, I am quite looking forward to trying everything possible and finding the good stuff again!

So – there will be many more cooking wonders coming out of the tiny corner kitchen, but in the mean time S and I are writing a blog about our time in London, so feel free to read if you wish: W148BD.wordpress.com.