Magic BBQ Dust is one of our favourite seasonings and, here at Spice HQ, one of the things we most look forward to growing each year is our tomatoes. So, we thought we’d combine two of our most favourite things to create our Magic Tomato Sauce and show you how easy it is to get massive flavour with just a pinch of the right seasoning!
We grow 30-40 plants across 4-5 varieties so have an abundance of tomatoes to keep us stocked for the coming year. We jar most of it, after roasting with our home-grown onions, garlic, peppers, courgettes and whatever else we have to hand. Roasting really concentrates the flavour and gives us the taste of summer in a jar whenever we need it. Purists will say we should skin them first, but we don’t bother, mainly because we use a lot of cherry tomatoes & they’re just too fiddly.
We do some plain, some with extra herbs & then some with our Magic BBQ Dust for a rich, smokey, spicy warmth to chillies as well as meaty pasta dishes. The basic recipe is below but there are no rules, so feel free to tweak it according to your taste.
- 1 roasting tray of fresh tomatoes, about 1-1.5kg
- 2 red onions, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp Magic BBQ Dust
- splash of rapeseed oil
- generous pinch of pure sea salt
- handful of fresh chopped herbs, like basil & oregano (dried oregano is ace)
- generous pinch of red chillies or 1 finely chopped fresh chilli – optional
- 1 small courgette and/or aubergine, finely chopped – optional
- drizzle of a good Aged Balsamic – optional
- mix everything together well so it forms a single layer in the roasting tray
- slowly roast for 1.5 – 2 hours at about 120c-140c
- blitz in a blender to required texture; we normally blitz half to smooth & mix with the coarse
There are plenty of books out there that go into great detail about preserving, but this is how we do it. Use clean jars straight from the dishwasher or a low oven so they’re hot & sterilised (lids too), making sure you don’t touch inside the jar. The sauce sauce needs to be piping hot (reheat in a pan if needed) and carefully spoon it in, making sure you don’t spill it over the ‘threads’. Fill right to the top & screw the lid on, turn the jar upside down for 30 seconds & you’re done! Alternatively, let the mixture cool & freeze in batches. We normally make 40-50 jars which usually sees us through to the following year!
Once you have this, you can add a few spoons to cooked & drained pasta, loosening with a touch of the pasta water. It also make a great base for a soup – just add some stock & whatever else you fancy.