By the time I was married and cooking, these mats were no longer sold due to the asbestos in them and I always found it hard to simmer the sauce for the number of hours that my mother did...3-4 hours without it sticking or worse...burning. When I moved in to this home it has electric hotplates but I still found it hard to get a very low simmer. But then I bought my slow cooker...and voila! I have been able to make pasta sauce that tastes just like that which mum (or dad occasionally) made. I don't have to worry about it burning or sticking and can go on with other things. Because I bought the large capacity slow cooker, I make a double batch which gives us 3-4 meals for the 2 of us.
Pasta sauce; Maria-style
810 tin chopped tomatoes (mum used fresh tomatoes, plunged in boiling water, then cold and then peeled)
425 can of tomato puree (tomato paste can be used but only about 4 tabs)
400-500 g, good quality beef mince
pinch of salt
4 cloves fresh garlic crushed or 2 teaspoons crushed bottled garlic
1/2 teas dried oregano
1 teas dried basil (or 2 tabs chopped fresh basil added at end of cooking)
1 teas sugar
1 tabs oil, preferably olive oil
- brown mince in oil. Use a frypan for this; drain off any fat.
- Stir in garlic, herbs and salt
- Add tomatoes and puree; stir in the sugar. Bring mixture to the boil and ten turn down to a simmer
- Simmer the sauce uncovered for at least an hour. Continue to stir at intervals to avoid sticking or burning.
- Serve sauce with cooked pasta, use in lasagne, cannelloni and even pinwheels made with puff pastry or bread dough.
When I cooked this the other night I used my latest 'toy' which I bought at the recent tupperware party. It's a little pull-cord chopper...and I think I love it!!! I chopped up the fresh basil leaves in it!
|A few pulls of the cord and chopped basil!|