Tuesday 26 January 2016

Recipe: Roast vegetable pasta sauce

Reading back through some of my draft posts, I realise I never posted this one. And quite frankly, it's a keeper because it's simple, adaptable and tastes amazing. I mean, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it is. Even Jimmy and Ellie will gobble this stuff down, so it's kid friendly as well.

I use it as a pasta sauce, but really, you could use it for a whole range of things - a base for lasagna, or the beginnings of a truly delicious soup come to mind.
Roast vegetable pasta sauce
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  • assorted vegetables to roast - in this version I've used tomatoes, eggplant, carrot, celery and the sad looking mushroom and capsicum pieces left in the crisper drawer
  • olive oil 
  • balsamic vinegar
  • garlic cloves
  1. Cut all of the vegetables to a uniform size and put into a baking pan. Drizzle over the olive oil and some balsamic vinegar to taste, then roast until everything is collapsed.
  2. Put your pasta on to cook, and while it's cooking away;
  3. Heat up a fry pan and add a bit of olive oil and some minced up garlic. While that's getting nice and fragrant, process the roast vegetable mixture until it's at your desired consistency.
  4. Add the roasted vegetable mix into the garlic and heat it up. Check for seasoning and when the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan so it gets lovely and coated. You may need to add a little bit of the pasta water if your sauce is too thick.
  • This is a very forgiving recipe. I use it to avoid wasting vegetables that have seen better days - whatever I have in the fridge really, as long as there are some tomatoes in there to tie it all together. It's also handy for using up loads of home grown veggies in a tasty way.
  • Because it's so easy to make, I often make up the tray of vegetables and roast it while I have the oven on cooking something else. I then let it sit and marinate in the fridge overnight (because I find it develops better flavours) and then whizz it up and finish the sauce the next night for a speedy dinner.
  • I leave it a bit chunky but you could always process it more if you'd like a smoother sauce. Sometimes I add olives or capers before serving instead of using any salt. I like to tear fresh basil leaves and add just at the end too.
  • This recipe freezes beautifully too and makes for speedy dinner preparation when required!
How do you make your favourite pasta sauce?

Monday 4 January 2016

What's in my kitchen, January 2016

When I went to type the title of this post, my fingers immediately typed 2015. Then I backspaced, and typed 2015 again. Probably by the time it gets to about June I'll be well in the habit of using that 6! Happy new year! Mr Fork and I had a quiet new year's celebration with out little family. We had a nice dinner at home, tucked the kids into bed and then... slightly later, put ourselves into bed too! Haha, yes, this is what it has come to. We couldn't even muster the energy to go to our nearby lookout and watch the children's fireworks at 8pm this year. Since they also weren't showing on TV, we decided that we didn't need to see them badly enough to keep the kids up late and so, early nights all around it was! Having said that, this year has started off fabulously. We have continued with the food fest started at Christmas and it's been just lovely having everyone home from work/daycare and being able to have unscheduled days and plenty of time catching up with family and friends. And food, always lots of food... hurrah for home cooking, stone fruit and sugary festive treats!

In my kitchen is...

a Kikki.k "For the love of good food and paper" book, given to me by our family secret santa. With a large family Christmas lunch, often in excess of 30 attendees, we have (thankfully) moved to buying just for one person instead of for all present. This means that gifts are often perfectly chosen for the receiver instead of just a gesture as inevitably happens when you have to buy for so many people. This book is full of little food related paper items, such as recipe cards, cupcake wrappers, pretty food related printed paper, and even pre-cut tags and boxes for packaging food gifts. It's such a 'me' present, I'm so pleased with it.
In my kitchen is...

Another well chosen Christmas present of nested measuring cups. Each hen splits in half so that the bottom and top half are different sized cup measures, and reveal another egg or hen inside. I love them, particularly for all the puns I get to make (both out loud and in my head) about them.
You know, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or when I get to 'crack' the egg. Every one needs a helping hen.
In my kitchen is...

The annual Christmas 'picky eater' loaf. I've mentioned that Christmas lunch is a big family affair to often morphs into dinner. It's a traditional meal too, with a turkey, chicken and ham with roast vegetables. As long as I've been attending, it's been my job to bring along a contribution for the vegan and 'picky eater' group. In my family, that's anyone that doesn't eat the roast meats, so I usually make my loaf vegan and gluten free to cater for everyone else. I also brought along my own jug of mushroom gravy so I was well fed.
Here's my plate, with the loaf and gravy, assorted roast vegetables and a felafel on the side in case I felt the need of it too. Surrounded by family, food and presents, it really was a great day.
In my kitchen is...

A bit of a cheat as it's not technically in my kitchen, but I did snap the pictures while shopping for things to go in the kitchen... so that sort of counts right? My local Woolworths (and Coles too, but I don't have a picture of that) have put up a display stand with free fruit for the kids to eat as they go through the store. Healthy food distraction for the win! I was able to get them both through most of the supermarket minus any demands for sugary snacks and was even asked to buy a few extra pieces of fruit as they looked so tasty (but weren't in the free fruit box) so we had to get some for eating later.
As can be seen here, Jimmy is an enormous fan. He loves his fruit and even finished off the remainder of Ellie's pear once she'd eaten all the tasty bits!
In my kitchen is...

The memory of Christmas supper. We had some dear friends over on Christmas eve for nibbles and drinks. Mr Fork and I even cracked open a bottle of Moet that we were given when Jimmy was born (and let me tell you, with the heat on Christmas eve, it went down very well!). We served plenty of dips and crackers, some cheese, lots of fresh fruit and there was even some homemade felafel balls and turkey sausage rolls as well. It was a lovely relaxed way to usher in Christmas, and for me, that was when it started to kick in that we were on holidays and things were starting to feel festive... just sitting down and sharing some drinks and food with great people. It helped that the children were on their best behaviour in anticipation of Santa visiting, and were very excited (and cute) putting out some carrots for the reindeer and a cherry ripe for Santa before turning in with their Santa sacks.
 In my kitchen is...

Another Christmas gift, a crumble dish. Notable for several reasons. It's pink! A pink baking dish, how delightful! It's for crumble. I love crumble and should I ever forget the recipe, it's printed right there - in the dish. Finally, the brand is Suzy Home Baker. I do so love a good pun! And a useful pink dish is a winner too.
Happy 2016 to you. I hope that it's off to a glorious and delicious start.

I am linking this post in with Maureen of Orgasmic Chef who is hosting the monthly In My Kitchen event for the first time. Thanks Maureen! Head on over to have a peek through many other kitchens!

What's in your kitchen this month?


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