Usually, I am lazy and use a jar of sauce and just whack it in the oven. But last night I decided to try and make my own from scratch. I'm pleased to report, my home-made version was a success and probably tasted better than the usual jar version.
I based my attempt on a recipe from the Tesco website (view the original recipe here). However, as I was feeding 2 adults, 5 children and a baby, I increased some of the ingredients:
- 250 g dry penne pasta (I used a 500 g bag of wholewheat fusilli as I was feeding the 5000 - well my family and my niece and nephew who I was looking after for the day in half-term).
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 rashers of bacon, chopped (I used a pack of 7 slices - again, because I had lots of mouths to feed)
- Half an onion, diced (I used a whole onion)
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 150 g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I only had 4 cherry tomatoes as Beatrix had snaffled most of them in her lunch, so I also added a tin of chopped tomatoes)
- 100 g mushrooms, chopped (I didn't weigh them, but finely chopped around 4 largish mushrooms so they wouldn't be identified by all the children who claim they don't like mushrooms)
- 1 400g tin of cream of tomato soup
- 50 ml single cream
- 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
- Grated mozzarella (I used half a bag left over from when we made pizza the other day)
- Grated cheddar
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C / gas mark 5
- Cook the pasta in boiling water for 10 minutes and then drain and place into an oven proof dish
- Fry the bacon bits in olive oil for a minute or two
- Add the onion and garlic to the bacon until softened
- Add the mushrooms and fry until they are soft
- Add the cherry tomatoes and the tinned tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the sauce is bubbling
- Add the tomato soup and simmer for a couple of minutes
- Stir in the single cream and add the basil leaves.
- Pour the mixture over the pasta in the oven proof dish
- Sprinkled the grated cheese over the top and bake for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese melts.
This is definitely a recipe I'll repeat. I was really surprised about how easy it was to make and how delicious it was. I reckon the tinned tomato soup was the secret to the success of this dish. I doubt I'll be buying the shop bought sauce again.
What have you made recently?