I’ve taken to making a large amount of roasted or slow cooked seasonal vegetables whenever I fire up Big Bill my clay oven. It’s so handy to have pots of it in the freezer to turn into quick and healthy meals.
Our winter has arrived, and this passata is going down really well at the moment. There really isn’t that much to the recipe. But if a easy hearty meal sounds like your kind of thing, I hope you enjoy this.
First, for slow cooked vegetables:
- If you’d like to use dried beans, soak a cup or so over night before cooking with the rest of the vegetables.
- Put together equal parts of chunky onions, carrots, celery, and other seasonal vegetables such as pumpkins, potatoes, kumara (sweet potato), parsnip etc into a large pot with soaked beans if you are using. Two cups of each vegetable is plenty.
- Add a few bay leaves and cover the vegetables with water and 1-2 teaspoons of salt. Alternatively, use stock is you have some.
- Bring this to a simmer on the stove for an hour, or leave the pot covered in a slow oven (120C) for 4-5 hours, or leave it in the slow cooker for 6 hours.
- Once cooled, divide into containers and freeze until you want to use them.
For 2 servings, you’ll need:
- 300g dried pasta of your choice
- 1 litre of the slow cooked vegetables
- 120ml cream
- a tablespoon each of of chopped parsley and thyme (optional)
- a handful of fresh basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- some grated parmesan to serve
Follow these steps:
- Cooked the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente.
- Use a blender and blend the vegetables to the consistence you like. If you prefer very chunky passata, put the vegetables in a pot and mash with a potato masher. I like mine half chunky half smooth, so I tend to blend half, and mash the other half.
- Put the vegetables into a pot with parsley and thyme (optional) and bring it to a simmer on the stove.
- Once simmering, stir the cream through the sauce and heat until it’s barely simmering.
- Stir through some fresh basil and taste to check the seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper to your liking. Add some boiling water if you’d like a thinner sauce.
- Divide the pasta onto plates and ladle the passata over.
- Serve with extra basil and some parmesan sprinkled on top.