In any normal year, come August and September, Mr Mac and I usually take on an orange glow due to the amount of tomatoes we eat. Our staple diet is usually this simple pasta dish which originally came about as we had to find ways to use up all the tomatoes.
This year it was 21 September before we ate it for the first time and I have been waiting all summer to share it with you!
It takes minutes to prepare and you can leave it in the oven for an hour and go potter in the garden.
- one big bowl of tomatoes
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Fill a bowl with ripe tomatoes.
- Wash and slice in half (or quarters if they are large).
- Place in a roasting tray and add a generous helping of salt, freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a glug of balsamic vinegar.
- Place in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees C until the mixture has reduced and the tomatoes have started to caramelise. This usually takes about an hour. Check after 30 minutes and give it a stir. It will look very watery but, trust me, it will reduce down to a gorgeous sauce.
- Boil and drain the spaghetti and stir in the tomato sauce.
We have tried adding garlic but I think this makes it bitter. Chorizo works well cut into small cubes and also using chilli oil instead of olive oil adds a nice bit of heat. However, I believe the tomatoes are always the star of the meal and this is definitely a case of less is more.
Being quite far north in the UK we have the benefit of light nights in the summer. Already Mr Mac and I have still been out working in the garden at 9pm (just once though!).
At this time of year when there is so much to do outside, it is great to be able to work well into the evening. The last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen making dinner.
I found a little booklet last week called 25 Quick Fixes – meals in 20 minutes or less! There are some great recipes for quick but tasty meals. I tried this one and it was delicious…and it definitely took less than 20 minutes to make.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- olive oil
- mini chicken fillets about 350g or just cut 2 chicken breasts into thin strips
- ground cumin 2 tsp
- chicken stock 300ml hot
- couscous 150g
- mango chutney 3 tbsp
- spring onions 4 sliced into 3cm pieces
- coriander a small handful roughly chopped
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or large frying pan. Sprinkle the chicken with the ground cumin and cook for a couple of minutes until lightly browned.
- Pour 200ml of the chicken stock over the couscous and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
- Add the mango chutney to the chicken, stir well and leave to bubble for 2 minutes.
- Add the remaining chicken stock and spring onions and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Fluff up the couscous with a fork, stir half the coriander through the couscous and the remainder through the chicken.
- Serve and enjoy!
For the health concious among you each serving has 505 calories and 10.4g of fat.