Gemma’s top 4 delicious tomato recipes for the family

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I am a huge tomato fan. I remember when I was growing up I would go through a whole punnet of cherry tomatoes as soon as my mum had been shopping. She used to moan at me that I’d turn into a tomato, which gave me many nightmares for years to come. Thanks mum!

Our kitchen cupboard is always full of cartons of tomatoes. (I used to buy tins but then I read something quite off-putting about the acid in the tomatoes causing the lining of the tin to leak BPA into the food… so although you should never believe everything you read, I thought it would be easier to make a change and buy in glass bottles or the new carton packaging.)

I have put together four of my favourite tomato recipes that all the family can enjoy.
The first recipe on the list is Pasta Al Tonno which means pasta with tuna. When I was 16 (not sure I should be revealing this) I started dating a Brazilian chef who worked at a very famous Italian restaurant in London. He taught me how to make the most amazing pasta with tuna and it is something that I taught my mum and my two brothers to cook – and a dish that my kids absolutely love.

Pasta Al Tonno

Serves family of 4

tin of tomatoesIngredients:
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
2 tins (or cartons!) tomatoes
Fresh or dried parsley
1 tin tuna in spring water
Pinch salt
½ tablespoon sugar
Olive oil
Tomato puree
Spaghetti or any pasta of your choice

Method:

  • Fry ½ the chopped onion and crushed garlic clove in a bit of olive oil until soft
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and heat until bubbling lightly
  • Add the pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
  • Add a squeeze of tomato puree
  • Leave to simmer for at least 30-40 mins – when the red froth appears on top of the tomatoes, scrape off and discard as this is the acid releasing
  • Stir regularly so the tomatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan – taste often as the flavour will deepen
  • Boil a pan of water for the pasta
  • Whilst the water is boiling and pasta is cooking, fry the remaining onions in a pan until soft
  • Add the tuna and fresh or dried parsley and fry until the tuna turns pale

How to serve:

  • Once the tuna mixture has fried, season to taste then spoon the tomato sauce into the pan and add as much or as little as you want
  • Pour on top of the pasta and serve with a little grated parmesan or cheddar cheese. Garlic bread and an extra sprig of parsley is a yummy addition too!

Tip: Keeps for 3 days in the fridge and can also be frozen in portions for a quick meal if in a hurry (can be cooked straight from frozen – just add the cooked pasta).

Bruschetta

Serves family of 4

Ingredients:
1 large fresh baguette
5 medium or 3 beef tomatoes
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves

Method:

  • Slice the tomatoes and place in a sieve over a bowl and add a few pinches of salt whilst turning the tomatoes – leave to stand for about 20 minutes until the juice from the tomatoes has collected in the bowl
  • Cut the baguette sideways and at an angle so you get long slices, then rub the garlic cloves on one side
  • Place the baguette slices in the oven and toast lightly on both sides
  • Chop the tomatoes and add chopped basil, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Place on top of the toasted baguette slices and serve

Homemade baked tomato soup

Serves family of 4

Ingredients:
2 red peppers
10-12 medium tomatoes
6 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
Fresh or dried basil
Double cream (optional)
Tomato puree

Method:

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 – 190
  • Place peeled garlic cloves, pinch of dried basil or handful of basil leaves, whole tomatoes and halved red peppers in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season
  • Roast mixture for around 30 minutes until peppers have started to turn a little darker and charred
  • Pour all mixture into a blender and pulse until smooth
  • Season to taste
  • Add a drop of cream to each individual serving (optional)

Tip: Will keep in fridge for 3 days and can be frozen in portions. Lovely served with garlic bread or a crusty, buttered roll.

Tomato tart

Serves family of 4

Ingredients:
3-4 medium tomatoes
1 sheet of ready roll puff pastry
Salt & pepper
1 medium onion
Dash of balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Optional toppings: Feta cheese, goats cheese, black olives, herbs

Method:

  • Slice tomatoes and place in sieve over a bowl, salt the tomatoes whilst turning and leave to stand for 20 minutes until the juice has collected in the bowl
  • Whilst the tomatoes are deepening in flavour, slice the onions and fry until soft
  • Pre-heat oven to 180
  • Grease a baking tray and lay puff pastry sheet on it
  • Score an inch in on the pastry on each side so the pastry will rise as an edge encasing the ingredients
  • tomatoesPlace the tomatoes on top of the pastry and add the fried onions and toppings of your choice; add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry has turned golden
  • Season to taste and serve

Tip: Yummy with a green salad.