Friday, 23 March 2012

It's Tomato time.

It's always fun when you're told to go and look on the doorstep .. ooh a new parcel? No, a 15 kilo box of tomatoes.  Well, at least it wasn't a another amazon package with yet more cook books!
This bought back memories of the same time last year, when we spent a nice day together in the kitchen making tomato sauce.  Then a not so nice solo Monday -a full 14 hours over a spluttering stove top, followed by 23 bottles of tomato sauce.

Sauce requires company.

We still had a couple of bottles of sauce let over from last year, so we thought this time we would make a couple of different varieties. Our recipe is Roasted Tomato Passata from Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No. 2, which also has a recipe for Roasted Tomato Sauce using the passata. We have a smoker oven so we thought we could adapt the recipe slightly and make a smoked tomato passata, use that to make a smoked tomato sauce then pump out a casual tomato chutney on the side.

All tomatoes were laid out on baking sheets with fresh
herbs, garlic, shallots and salt and pepper.

Before and after shots of the tomatoes in the smoker with fresh Oregon wood chips.

The passata is getting passed through a sieve on the right. Meanwhile the sauce ingredients
are ready to cook up on the induction plate on the left.


We sieved all of the tomatoes for the passata. For the tomato sauce we kept the smoked tomatoes, shallots and herbs whole as we are fans of chunky tomato sauce.

Passata, tomato sauce, chutney and Troy's pickles stored for the winter.

I wonder how long these bad boys will sit unlabeled. It's on the to do list, but I guess it comes down to blog posts versus sauce in our laundry looking pretty.

Verdict: We made a simple pasta for dinner with some of the passata and some extra smoked tomatoes and its a really lovely base to work from.
Would we make this again?  It's time consuming, but really rewarding. It's always nice being able to pull a preserve out of the cupboard to use for a recipe, knowing exactly where it came from, or even better, to give to friends in exchange for some of their creations.

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