For my second post in the Canadian Tire Kitchen Crew Missions this Fall, I stuck to a tomato theme. For the first time in years, we have a lot of tomatoes growing in our backyard and I am having to get creative to come up with ways to use them. Let me remind you that Mission 1 was as follows:
“It’s back to school time again! And you know what that means – packing your little one a lunch and preparing snacks for an army of friends after school. Besides wanting to be nutritious and delicious, you also don’t want to slave away for hours in the kitchen. Your mission this week is to develop easy eats for back to school! That means a total prop time of 20 minutes or less – no cheating!”
I had to laugh when I received this mission since the only “little one” I am packing a lunch for is Neil (and occasionally myself). But we DO try to plan ahead on the weekend to make sure we have enough food organised for whatever nights we’re home as well as leftovers for lunches. After last week’s soup, my mind wandered to pasta sauce. Pasta is always one of my “go-to” meals on busy weeknights and I am sure you know that it’s all too easy to reach for a jarred sauce when time is short. Last year, Neil canned a bunch of tomatoes for use in sauces and cooking but we’re running low and I wanted to see whether the Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soup and Beverage Blender would manage a batch of basic tomato sauce that I could use for pasta or pizza sauce or in any number of other soup and stew recipes. The sauce I came up with is simple but fresh and tasty – and lends itself to all sorts of interpretation. With something like 5 minutes’ prep time and about 40 minutes cooking time (where you can walk away and leave the blender do its thing), you couldn’t ask for much easier. And with only one pot to wash up, it’s even better!
Ingredients – for about 500 mls sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
a handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
Turn on the “Cook” function to High and add the olive oil. Set the timer to 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, garlic and onion. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, blitz a couple of times to desired consistency with the “Blend” function then reduce the heat to “low” and add tomato paste, lemon zest and basil. Cook for 10 more minutes with the lid off so the sauce will thicken slightly.
The result is a light tomato sauce with a hint of lemon – bright and fresh on its own. Or perfect to add to a meat sauce. Or use as a sauce base for pizza. The possibilities really are endless! Again, there won’t be as much depth of flavour as a sauce whose tomatoes have been slow roasted in the oven and cooked over a low heat for a couple of hours but for a healthy dinner in under an hour that doesn’t come out of a jar, I think it’s a pretty good substitute.
Disclaimer: I was provided with compensation as well as a Cuisinart Blend and Cook Soup and Beverage Blender in exchange for writing two posts about the product. All opinions are 100% my own. The Kitchen Crew series highlights my stories, recipes and tips with promotional consideration made possibly by Canadian Tire. If you want to uncover your kitchen’s true potential, stay tuned to the Kitchen Crew for my weekly missions.
* Did you enter my wine giveaway yet? Contest closes Wednesday September 14th at 6pm EST. I will announce the winner on Thursday September 15th. Bonne chance!