Since being in Australia one thing I have found out is that everything is very pricey. Food and drink especially, generally because their wages are far higher than ours in the UK, but this means I am having to be even thriftier. One thing that I always find cheap and easy to make is homemade pasta sauce. By making it at home you are also able to control the amounts of salt and sugar, which so many pre-made pasta sauces are full of.
My ingredients were:
- 1 White onion
- 1 Garlic clove
- ½ Red chilli
- 2 Mushrooms
- ¼ Red pepper (not in pic- I forgot)
- 400g Diced tomatoes (1 tin)
- Italian seasoning
- Salt and Pepper
The steps for this sauce are especially easy. First, I finely chopped the onion, garlic and chilli and diced the pepper and mushroom. I chose to use ¼ red pepper last minute as I had some leftover in my fridge. I drizzled oil into my frying pan and ensured it was piping hot before I added all of the chopped veggies.
On a medium heat I stirred the ingredients until the mushroom softened and the onion became golden. At this point I added the tin of diced tomatoes and an extra 1/2 tin of water to ensure all of the juices were used. Adding water helps to prevent the sauce from becoming too thick as it reduces.
To taste, I added the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. The mixed herbs give the sauce a great Italian smell and add another layer of flavour.
After around 5/10 minutes more, the sauce had thickened and was bubbling away nicely. In the meantime, I cooked my delicious gluten free pasta, which I bought in Aldi (in Aus they have a great GF selection), and once this was finished cooking I began to plate up.
I haven’t yet bought any cheese, mainly because it’s a bit above my student budget, but some grated cheese over the top would be perfect. I served the dish with another sprinkle of black pepper.
If you don’t necessarily like the lumps of tomato in the sauce you can choose finely chopped tomatoes. I also noticed that Coles sell cans of tomatoes with Italian herbs which would also be great if you don’t have the seasoning in your cupboard- I’m sure UK supermarkets do too.
All of the ingredients used are low price and if you buy multipacks of tinned tomatoes it means you can save even more. I got mine for around $0.60, which is roughly about 40p, pretty much the same as in UK, if you want you could splash out on more expensive tinned tomatoes too.
For a quick evening meal this is perfect, and after I took my pictures I added ½ tin of tuna to add protein to the dish. This would also work perfectly with mince, like a Bolognese, or with chicken or even more veggies. Enjoy J