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Basic tomato pasta sauce: 10 meals!

Basic tomato pasta sauce: 10 meals!

Serves: (makes about 3 cups)
Time to make: 45 mins
Total cost: $2.40 / $0.80 per serve

(at time of publication)


Tomato and caper baked fish: (Pictured) Choose fish fillets such as terakihi, gurnard or warehou. Cut in medium-sized pieces and lay flat in a baking dish. Add 3 tablespoons capers or caper berries and 1 tablespoon caper juice to Tomato pasta sauce. Pour over fish and bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes. Serve with kumara wedges, mashed potato or rice.

Pizza sauce: Purée Tomato pasta sauce and use for pizzas. Make double and freeze in quantities suitable for one pizza meal.

Baked meatballs: Use Basic minced meat recipe to make meatballs. Layer in a baking dish, pour over Tomato pasta sauce and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with a grated  parmesan cheese and grated mozzarella cheese mix and bake for 5 more minutes. Serve with pasta or rice and a salad.

Baked sausages and onion with tomato sauce: Grill, barbecue or pan-fry 8 thick reduced-fat sausages. Slice 4 onions in thin rings and cook in a little oil until soft. Place sausages and onions in a medium-sized baking dish and pour Tomato pasta sauce over. Cover with foil and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes (or potatoes baked in their skins) and peas.

Stuffed courgettes: Choose 4 large courgettes (not marrows). Brush with a little olive oil and bake at 180°C for 10 minutes or until softened but still firm. Allow to cool a little before cutting each in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh of each half, allowing enough of an edge to hold shape. Dice scooped flesh and set aside. Brown onion, chopped lean bacon (optional) and diced capsicum in a little oil. Add diced courgette and a little Tomato pasta sauce. Simmer for a few minutes then spoon mix into courgette shells. Place in a medium-sized baking dish and top each with soft breadcrumbs mixed with a little grated parmesan cheese. Pour remaining sauce around courgette halves and bake at 180°C for about 15 minutes.

Tomato pasta bake: Mix any cooked pasta shapes through Tomato pasta sauce. Pile into a baking dish and top with fine breadcrumbs mixed with grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until filling is piping hot and crumb crust crisp and golden. For variation and additional texture, colour and flavour, add other ingredients such as chilli, sliced mushrooms, spinach, courgettes, capsicums or eggplant.

Tomato and mushroom pasta: Cut flat portobello mushrooms in chunks. Cook in a little oil and add to Tomato pasta sauce. Heat through and serve over cooked pasta. Finish with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

Baked chicken and eggplant: Brush 4 large 2cm-thick eggplant slices with a little olive oil and bake at 200°C until golden and soft. Transfer to a flat baking dish. Brown 4 medium-sized skinless chicken breast portions in a little oil and place 1 chicken breast on each eggplant slice. Mix 2 tablespoons capers or sliced olives into Tomato pasta sauce and pour over chicken. Bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes (time may vary depending on chicken piece size and thickness). Serve topped with chopped fresh basil, new or small roasted potatoes and a salad.

Chicken cacciatore: Use 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Trim fat and in a frying pan, brown chicken in a little oil. Set aside. Add 1 chopped medium onion and 1 teaspoon crushed garlic to pan. Cook over a medium-heat for a few minutes to soften. Add 300g sliced button mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes. Add Tomato pasta sauce, 1/3 cup red lentils and sliced chicken thighs. Simmer for about 40 minutes or until chicken and lentils are cooked. Add 1/2 cup black pitted olives and 1 tablespoon drained capers. Heat through. Serve over rice and sprinkle with chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil.

Spinach and red kidney bean lasagne: Add one 390g can red kidney beans (drained) to Tomato pasta sauce. In a baking dish, layer lasagne sheets, cooked spinach or silver beet, cottage cheese and tomato/bean mix. Finish with a layer of cottage cheese and sprinkle grated edam cheese over the top. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes.

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