Saturday, 21 September 2013

Roast Tomato Sauce and Pesto Scones

If you've seen my Meal Planning Monday post for this week, you'll know that on Wednesday night we had left over gammon in tomato sauce with pasta.

I made the tomato sauce from a recipe in River Cottage Veg Every Day. You'll find more or less the same recipe on the Guardian website except that in the book, marjoram is added and mace omitted, and the sauce isn't reduced after sieving.

Our tomatoes are a delightful jumble of shapes, sizes and varieties, but all packed with flavour! After roasting, I put them through the mouli  - there was very little left behind to throw away and the sauce was rich and thick with a smokey, garlicky taste - the gammon I added was really unnecessary. I'm not going to show you a photo of the finished sauce because I forgot to take one  all tomato sauces look very much the same.

To serve with it, I made some pesto scones. They're not really a scone, more of a soda bread. But they are scone sized so I call them scones. There's logic in there somewhere.

To make about 8, you will need

250g plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
about 200ml buttermilk
4-5 tbs pesto

Heat the oven to 230 C, Gas 8. Line a baking sheet with non-stick paper. Sieve together the flour, salt and baking powder. Quickly stir in the buttermilk, starting with about three quarters of it - you are looking for a dough that is just firm enough to roll out, yet as soft as you feel you can handle.

Roll it out on a floured surface to a rough rectangle about 25 x 15 cm. Spread the pesto over, roll up from the long edge and cut into approx. 8 slices. Place well apart on the baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, until well risen.

You can ring the changes by using  sun dried tomato paste or one of the different varieties of pesto available now, although I usually use home made traditional basil, pine nut and Parmesan pesto because we always have a supply of that in the freezer. Frozen in ice cube trays then tipped out into plastic bags, it's very convenient. One cube in my ice tray is one tablespoonful, so it's ready measured. It defrosts quickly, or can be dropped straight into soups and sauces.

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