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Economy gastronomy tomato sauce shocker!

(23 Posts)
ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 17:31:05

So, inspired by the students on economy gastronomy this week (and other episodes), we have planned our menu. We're also trying to make extra and freeze as we have twins due in the next couple of weeks. Tonight we're having bangers and mash, making extra mash which will be used with cold salmon to make fishcakes, half of which will be frozen. Fishcakes tomorrow, Roast on Monday, on Tuesday, meatballs in tomato sauce, Wednesday will be jacket spuds, Thursday spag bol (with base of sauce made with the tomato sauce). I hoped to have at least 2 more meals' worth of sauce left to freeze.

So today I made the sauce, in preparation for the week. There's only DH and me, but I noticed on the programme that the students used all their sauce in the first dish and had to make another batch, so I decided to double up on quantities, to make sure I had plenty to freeze.

I used 2 kg fresh tomatoes, 4 large onions, 8 cloves garlic, 150ml olive oil, and thyme. Took quite a while to peel and de-seed the tomatoes, and many tears to chop the onions. Thye sauce came together beautifully AND is absolutely delicious - a world away from the tomato sauces I usually make with tinned tomatoes.

BUT there was so little of it!! Even with only 2 of us, there won't be any over to freeze after 2 meals. It was only enough to 1/2 fill 2 pour-and-store bags! And the chopping/peeling took an hour!

So a word of warning - if you decide to make the sauce for a family, AT LEAST double the quantities, and make sure you have an army of willing tomato peelers on hand!

(Oh, and if you have any ideas about how to make it go further in future, please do advise!) wink

LadyoftheBathtub Sat 05-Sep-09 17:39:46

Tomatoes are pretty watery so they boil down - I bet when you buy tinned tomatoes you get a lot more than a tin's worth of fresh ones, IYSWIM. So it might actually be considerably cheaper (though not as nice) to use tinned.

I suppose you could make it go further with wine (hmm, not exactly a saving ) or stock made from powder?Or for things like spag bol you can add lentils to the sauce as well as the meat.

said Sat 05-Sep-09 17:40:02

Add some decent quality tinned tomatoes to it? Giorgio Locatelli recommended Aldi's in a blind-taste test.

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 17:42:18

There's nowt wrong with tinned tomatoes. Life is definitely too short to peel and deseed fresh ones. You are bonkers. I'm a very enthusiastic cook but wouldn't dream of doing this.

ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 17:43:23

Aaah, wine. An excellent addition. And lentils is a really great idea too. I should try some different tinned toms ; we always get the Tesco ones - but they seem so acidic and seem to make my ever-present heartburn worse. But will try Aldi's maybe.

Thanks smile

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 17:44:47

Sugar or marmade mellows metallic tinned tomato taste.

I don't fancy lentils though.It turns it into something else.

meltedmarsbars Sat 05-Sep-09 17:45:16

Moondog, the only time its worth peeling tomatoes is for that raw-tomato-and-mozzarella pasta sauce.

LadyoftheBathtub Sat 05-Sep-09 17:45:35

Actually now I come to think of it when Heston thingy did his telly programme he used tinned to make his spag bol sauce - he even visited the farm they came from but he said tinned were best. Experiment with different ones to see which you like the taste of. I like the sainsbury's chopped ones that actually come in a little carton, not a tin. But they're the kind of thing that should be pretty good even from value ranges/cheaper supermarkets.

kathyis6incheshigh Sat 05-Sep-09 17:45:58

Fresh tomatoes for a sauce would cost a bloomin' fortune, unless you grew them yourself and have a glut. Delicious but not really economy gastronomy!
(I might do it if I was just cooking for myself, mind you....)

NoahFence Sat 05-Sep-09 17:46:50

you bladry use tins!!

moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 17:47:06

Or whole cherry ones nice just crumpled in oven abd folded through pasta.

Seriously though, I would skin peppers, make own bread and cornbread, hummus, stuff liek that (I've just picked and picked through 6lbs of plums from our garden which simmer as i write) but tomatoes. No way Jose!!

LadyoftheBathtub Sat 05-Sep-09 17:47:31

Yes I always put a teaspoon of brown sugar into anything tomato-based, it makes a huge difference.

NoahFence Sat 05-Sep-09 17:48:48

deffo tined and a bit of sugar - even premuim cherry toms tined woudl eb cheaper - unless you have a greenhouse

ScummyMummy Sat 05-Sep-09 17:50:56

Agree with moondog on the tinned tomato front. Didn't see the programme this week but think the student concerned was a fussy bananahead had an odd aversion to tinned tomatoes, hence the need for fresh tomato faffing.

ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 17:51:15

Oh dear.

Please don't tell me I've wasted a whole afternoon when I could have been mumsnetting doing something more useful.

You know, I did have "life's too short to stuff a mushroom" running through my head as I skinned all the blardy things. OK, so you live and learn. grin

I've never tried sugar in tinned toms. How much? 1/2 teaspoon for a tin? I'll also give the carton ones a go, maybe.

But the sauce is very yummy.

ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 17:52:41

Sorry, x-post.

Teaspoon of brown sugar, thanks Noah.

ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 17:53:25

and Lady of the Bathtub...

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 05-Sep-09 17:56:01

I wouldn't waste time or food by peeling and seeding the tomatoes tbh.

I meal plan so will look at the website for another week of recipes.

nappyaddict Sat 05-Sep-09 17:56:16

What about passata. We use Asda's own and it's fine.

brightredballoon Sat 05-Sep-09 18:12:05

I take it you jagged a sharp knife into each tomato and covered in boiling water then squished each one in your hand to peel and deseed?

I love fresh tomato puttensca (terrible spelling!) but it definitely calls for fresh tomatoes and the above is a very quick way of doing the tomatoes.

ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 18:19:44

No, no, blb. That sounds far too straightforward.

Each tomato was lovingly criss-crossed through the skin with a knife, dipped for 30 seconds in boiling water, plunged into cold water and then peeled with much burning of hands. THEN I cut each tomato in half, cut out the stalky bit, went round the back of the seedy bit with a knife to get the seeds out cut my thumb, seeds and watery stuff in the compost, THEN dice into small pieces.

Repeat for approximately 30 tomatoes.


moondog Sat 05-Sep-09 18:20:41

You nutter!!

There'll be nonoe of that when twins get here. Rest while you can woman. It will be your last chance for 12 years.

ZippysMum Sat 05-Sep-09 18:22:07


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