This is a personal project and I will slowly be adding recipe ideas here. Some will be general ideas, some will be more specific recipes and some will simply be adaptions of other people’s recipes.
Many of these ideas are simple and obvious, but if your brain is anything like mine, then having lists of obvious stuff is actually very useful. And hopefully some of the ideas are new and interesting, as I experiment more, and can help you create more interest and variety in your back-up meals.
Ingredients: Tinned tomatoes, garlic, olive oil.
Adaptions: Garlic oil if you have run out of fresh garlic.
For a simple tomato sauce, fry some garlic gently in some olive oil and simmer a tin of chopped tomatoes with a pinch of sugar and salt for least 10 mins, or longer for a richer sauce. If you are want a smoother sauce use, passata instead, or push the chopped tomatoes through a sieve before adding.
What else can I add?
Rummage in the Freezer: grated mozzarella, pre-roasted vegetables (courgette, peppers, aubergine), peas, chilli, bacon, frozen onions, frozen sofritto mix.
Poke around in the cupboards: Onions, butternut squash, jarred roasted peppers, tinned beans, lentils, olives, dried herbs and spices.
Raid the fridge: chorizo
Forage for fresh: herbs on the windowsill or garden , especially basil.
Variations on the theme of tomato sauce…
Chorizo & Beans
Soften onion and sliced chorizo in olive oil slowly, add garlic for a minute then add chopped tomatoes and simmer for ten minutes. Add rinsed tinned beans and simmer for another ten minutes. Serve with pasta and cheese, or make into a lasagne by layering the sauce with lasagne sheets and topping with cheese sauce. Just make sure there is plenty of sauce to pasta/beans ratio so there is plenty of liquid for the pasta to soak up and it is still saucy when done.
Nigella’s Chicken Cacciatore
This is delicious and works well as a store-cupboard food. Use brown onion instead of spring onion and have some bacon/lardons and chicken thighs in your freezer. If you don’t have growing rosemary, then add this too your freezer too, because it is essential to this wonderful recipe.
You need to have a some soffritto mix in your store cupboard arsenal for this soup. I pre-cook sofritto and freeze it in ice cubed trays, but you can also buy pre-chopped sofritto. About 6 ice cubes, or a couple of handfuls of sofritto. Once softened in olive oil, add two cloves of garlic and cook for a minute. Add a tablespoon of tomato puree and cook for two minutes. Add half a tin of tomatoes and a pint of stock with 1 stock cube (chicken or vegetable). You can add cubed butternut squash and grains (like pearled spelt) now also, and simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until cooked. Add tiny pasta after 10 minutes if using. Add half a tin of cannellini beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Leave to cool down for a few minutes in bowls before eating.