Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Bargain Tomato Box

In our house we love pasta. I've been making my own tomato pasta sauce for more than a year now. I usually buy about 3 kg of tomato for about $7 or $8 and use a huge jam pan to cook up about 8.5litres (15 pints) of sauce.
A few weeks before Christmas I noticed we were a bit low on sauce but I didn't time to make any more because of all the other end of year activities we needed to do.

On Monday I went to the Coventry Market in Morley and purchased a big black box of Roma tomatoes for $5. Mr W and I had to share carrying it to the car (one handle each). I think there must have been about 10kg (22lb) in the box. On Tuesday I spent 8 hours cooking two batches and ended up with 23 jars of sauce (and a bit to spare which we ate for dinner last night).

I decided to make up another (slightly different recipe using zucchini rather than aubergine) batch on Wednesday to use up the remaining tomatoes. I think there are about 35 jars altogether.

Things I discovered I like about making my own pasta sauce are:
The faint aroma of warm olives when the onions are being sauteed in the olive oil.
The faded scent of garlic that remains on my finger tips even after I have washed them numerous times.
The way our chickens go crazy over the off-cuts of tomato that they get given - this is their favourite treat.
The plopping sound that the thickening sauce makes as the air bubbles surface while simmering.
The way the sauce gloops into the jars as I pour it through the funnel.
The tink sound that the lids make when the vacuum seal pops down when the sauce cools down. It is unexpected because every jar takes a different length of time to seal and I have usually washed up and am relaxing by the time this happens.

I guess I wish we were Italian because the only thing missing is the horde of apron wearing relatives all chattering and helping with a job like this. You know like the sauce making scene from Looking for Alibrandi.

UPDATE: Lilybets commented that the sauce isn't very red and asked what I used in the sauce. I add aubergine (eggplant) and zucchinni so it lightens the colour also I use all the seeds (I think they are traditionally removed but I don't mind them in the sauce) and also I blend the chunky bits if I run out of time and haven't let the sauce simmer for the full four hours stated in the recipe. This breaks up some of the seeds and adds to the lighter colour sometimes. My SIL is going to her Italian neighbours house tomorrow to see how they make sauce... I am a bit jealous but I know she will share all the secrets with me.

Side note:
Week 2 of TAST has been published at Pin-tangle so I am going to read through the information about buttonhole stitching and plan my attack for later in the week (when I stop smelling of garlic).

I was amazed, perhaps more shocked, that my more-than-humble-scratching of fly stitch was selected in the showcase of week 1 due to it being on a ball rather than a flat surface.

1 comment:

  1. When a was a teenager I prepared tomatoes sauce (salsa di pomodoro) with my mother and my parents.It was a very simple but long process, not adding garlic or onions,boiling tomatoes (also 50 kg),riduce tomatoes in sauce and make it in bottles that were boiled to sanify them.After we needed to close them very good.Preparing sauce we add olive oil and garlic.A question,is not very red the sauce,why?Yes I'm Italian.