When the girls were little, I used to batch cook all the time for them, so I always had a few quick meals in the freezer that I could defrost at a moments’ notice. I’ve got a bit out of the habit recently. They both get fed at school Monday to Friday, and we eat as a family on a Sunday evening, so it’s only really Saturdays I have to worry about. That said, batch cooking is a great thing to do not just for the children, but so we have some quick meals on hand too!
If I’m cooking something that serves 4, I’ll make the full recipe and freeze for another day, or I’ll use my biggest pans and make two lasagnes instead of one, which means two Sunday evenings are taken care of. As you know, I’m not really one for ready-made meals, but there are inevitably times when I want something quick and easy which isn’t an omelette.
Which is where this sauce comes in. It’s so easy to make and simple to jazz up. This is also a cheap sauce to make – Aldi often have vine tomatoes for around 70p a pack, so buy a few and make a big batch. Roasting the tomatoes really intensifies their flavour and sweetness (great as even vine tomatoes in this country can be quite tasteless), and once that bit is done, it really does only take 5 mins.
2 punnets of vine tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Handful fresh basil
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
Half the tomatoes and arrange skin side down in a baking tray. Add the garlic cloves (unpeeled)
Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil
Roast for about 30 mins, until the tomatoes are soft and starting to char at bit at the edges
Finely chop the onion and saute in a big pan with a little olive oil until softened
Add the roasted tomatoes and squeeze the roast garlic out of it’s skin into the pan
Give everything a good squidge and cook over a low heat for a couple of minutes
Add the basil and vinegar, then blend it all up. I use my stick blender with the soup attachment for minimal splattering!