Help get NZ cooking: It's a basic art

Last updated 05:00 11/12/2012

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I've been reading some of the articles for 'Help NZ get cooking' and found that there are many recipes coming in but we are missing the essential concept of cookery itself.


Main ingredient Tomatoes
Type of dish Sauces and dressings
Course Main course
Cooking time <30 min
Serves/makes 6
Special options Vegetarian

People need to be confident in the kitchen before anything else. An understanding that if something goes wrong, it's not the end of the world.

Recipe books have been selling for years which give the idea that every ingredient needs to be measured in to teaspoons and measuring cups. While this is very true for baking, savoury cooking doesn't need a recipe book at all, just a basic knowledge of flavour combinations and an understanding of ingredients.

I'm not talking about making hollandaise from scratch, more of how a handful of thyme and half a fennell bulb can make a spaghetti bolognese in to something completely new and exciting, and why you can't put gravy on ice cream. Basic and essential kitchen skills like tucking your fingers in when you are cutting veges so you don't slice a fingertip off should be something everyone knows

Here is a recipe for my pasta sauce. You won't believe how simple it is. If the finished product is a bit thick, add some water, stock or a can of diced tomatoes. This freezes very well and can be used on pizza, pasta and anything you desire.

1kg of tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Turn the oven on to bake at 180 degrees.

2. Slice the onions, de-seed the bell pepper and halve the tomatoes. Wrap the garlic on tin foil so it doesn’t burn.

3. Put it all on a tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast it for an hour.

4. Transfer everything in to a blender and whizz it all up until it's smooth.

5. Pass through a sieve to remove skins and seeds.


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