Improvising with onions

This week’s thing is actually connected to something I did a few weeks ago, but which didn’t come into play until now.

A few weeks ago, my dad did a batch of home-made red onion chutney and gave me half, which amounted to three jars’ worth. It needed to be eaten fairly quickly and I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that if I used bits here and there in sandwiches and so on, so I hit upon the idea of making a batch of pasta sauce and freezing it in portions.

I decided to make a tomato sauce — the onion chutney was quite sweet, which would complement the sour/sharp flavour of tomatoes rather well, and I had half a tube of tomato purée sitting in my fridge waiting to be used. I opted to use a ratio of one can of plum tomatoes per jar of chutney, counting the tube of purée as being equivalent to one jar.

While the onions in the chutney were technically already sautéed, I started things off by heating some oil and cooking the chutney with it anyway, just to get things heated up properly. I then added two lamb stock cubes, generous quantities of basil and oregano, a good pinch of paprika, black pepper, the tomatoes and tomato purée, and the rinsings of the chutney jars and tomato cans. I then brought the mixture to the boil, stirred well and let it simmer with the lid off for about twenty minutes so as to reduce it a bit.

I got two large tubs (each worth three meals) and one small tub (one portion) out of this experiment, which filled out my frozen food emergency stash nicely.

I was a bit stumped for what to make for this week’s big cooking thing, so I fished out one of the large tubs of tomato sauce and cooked it up with some spare pasta. Delicious! Lots of umami and subtle flavours — the sweetness from the onion chutney was quite noticeable, but not overwhelming. It certainly went well with the extra-mature cheddar I melted over the top!

All in all, I think, a successful experiment ^^ I’ll definitely keep a note of this for future occasions.

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