Hello again everyone. I hope you’ve had a good few days. It felt like summer here at the weekend, very warm and sunny over the Easter holiday. The temperature has gone back to something more seasonal now..
I have a very versatile vegetable sauce recipe for you this week. The sauce is as tasty on it’s own over pasta as it is when used as a soup or casserole base, or spread over pizza dough or tart pastry. It is also a great recipe if you like batch-cooking for the freezer. It’s so easy to make, with everything cooked together on a large baking tray in the oven.
The sauce base consists of a selection of colourful vegetables which are baked with fresh herbs. I find the woody herbs work best in this recipe as they stand up well in the oven. I use bay, rosemary, sage and thyme, but if you prefer a less robust flavour, stir in freshly chopped finer, more delicate herbs for a final flourish once the sauce is cooked.
The rest of the sauce is made up of tinned tomatoes, stock and red wine. The first time I made the sauce I had a glut of fresh tomatoes, so if you prefer to use fresh, then they works fine too but you might want to add some tomato purée to the sauce to thicken it up and concentrate the flavour.
Here’s what to do….
- 1 large yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 250g carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 large leek, trimmed and shredded
- 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. caster sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 fresh bay leaves
- A few sprigs each of fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 250ml fruity red wine
- 250ml vegetable stock
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, 180°C fan oven, gas 6. Put all the vegetables in a large bowl and mix in the oil and sugar, then spread them out on a large, deep baking tray and season well. Pop the herbs on top and bake for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally until tender and lightly browned.
2. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, 160°C fan oven, gas 4. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over the vegetables. Put the tray in the oven and continue to cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and reduced. Cover and stand for 10 minutes. Discard the herbs before serving.
Serve the sauce over pasta and sprinkle with fresh basil and fried and salted seeds (recipe for the seed mix is on my post Moorish red orange and carrot salad (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan) For extra richness, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Perfect. See you next week 🙂