Oh! I love Italian food. I adore their cuisine and culture so much that I wish I was an Italian (well sometime). The way they move their hands when they talk, or their food- basil, oregano, tomatoes, garlic...hmm everything. I would love to have pizza, pasta, cheese and wine everyday. So this states my love for Italian food -right??
Back in India I ate just two types of pasta, in red and white sauce. Only after coming to the UK I tasted other pasta sauces as well, like pesto, garlic, wine, pepper and many more. Slowly my affection for pasta hiked and I began experimenting many pasta recipes at home. Although I have to say that I have restricted my dishes to mainly using Penne / Spaghetti/ Fussili ;and today I learned that there are 600 different shapes of Pasta ... Wow !! Long Long way to go .
Pasta can be of various shapes and sizes but it is the sauce that matters. Here you get pasta sauces readymade available in the market but I hardly buy them. And the reasons are as follows:-
- I hate addition of preservatives. Fresh is better :-)
- I find the taste very pale and dull. All I see is oil....grhhhh!!
- I cook pasta a lot thus I cant afford those tini-tiny jars every time.
Anyhow, even though basic tomato pasta sauce gets ready quickly; but there are times when I am in hurry and I need sauce immediately for a quick meal. After searching a lot on the net, I came to the conclusion that I can very well make my own pasta sauce and freeze it for the future use.
Roasted red bellpepper mingled with garlic are absolutely and positively something that you will love- I bet! The colour, aroma, taste- perfect balance. I bestowed it with the Indian touch -infusion of bayleaf, cloves, turmeric and black pepper surly upgrades it to the next level. I make a huge batch of this sauce, easily doubling and tripling the recipe. It freezes well and also becomes the base of a lot of my pasta dishes and sometimes on my pizza crust as well.
Red Bellpepper chopped- 4
Onion chopped- 1
Garlic pods- 8-10
Black peppercorns- 5
Lemon Juice- 2 tablespoons
Sugar- 2 tablespoons
Turmeric- 1/4 teaspoon
Dried oregano- 1/2 teaspoon
Dried Basil- 1/4 teaspoon
Olive oil- 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste
- Preheat the oven at 180C.
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Mix garlic, bellpeppers, bayleaf, peppercorn and 1tbsp olive oil. Grill in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes.
- Slit tomatoes in between and boil in 1 cup of water and cloves till soft and tender.
- Heat remaining oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and cook till translucent.
- Put boiled tomato in a bowl and mash lightly with a fork.
- Mix roasted bellpepper, garlic and tomatoes with onions.
- On meduim heat keep mixing and add all the remaining ingredients. Mix till water evaporates and you have lumpy mixture ready.
- Let it cool and then store in sterilized jars.
This can be kept in the freezer for 2-3 weeks.
If in hurry, just chop the tomatoes finely and mix when onions gets soft. Keep cooking till tomatoes leaves water and turns mushy.
It can be served as chutney with sandwiches, crackers or biscuits.
Tangy and sweet.