Amanda & Friends' Cookbook Category Cook Back Next

Super-strength pasta sauce

Cook: Nigel Bartlett

My recipes consist of a three stage process:

1 - What's in the fridge?
2 - Which of it is still edible?
3 - In what order shall I throw things into the pot/wok/microwave?
(That is assuming I get pass step 0: do I feel too tired to cook tonight?)

Indeed, the above is also a very good description of Dad's stews.

I suppose I can, however, give you my ancient recipe for super-strength pasta sauce (not for wimps like Tam and Dad, who thought that it was far too hot.)

Cut 4 tomatoes into small cubes (they need to be fairly ripe - that way they form more of a sauce, rather than chunks in water),
Slice 1 onion whatever way you want,
Cut up half a capsicum into exactly 1.5 by 1.5cm pieces,
Chop up either 2 or 3 rashers of bacon (or ham if you prefer) or a small amount of mince beef (amount is up to you),
Open a tin of pineapple pieces.

Dry-fry the beef until reasonably well cooked and add the onion for a couple of minutes.
Drain off any excees beef fat.
Add the capsicum, pineapple and tomatoes.
Add a large amount of sugar (about 2 tablespoons I think - it's been a while), a small amount of salt, a small amount of cornflour mixed with water (don't throw it in dry - it forms clumps - guess how I know?), and a cup of water. Notice the accuracy of the measurements here.

Now to make it strong!
Add: garlic, ginger, chilli sauce (and not that wimpy sweet chilli either!) and paprika, or, if you are really brave like me, cayenne pepper.
Leave it in the frying pan and let it simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Stir it regularly (depending on how often the ads come up on TV), and add more water if necessary to prevent it from boiling dry.
If it has too much liquid, after about 40 minutes, add tomato sauce. This also applies if you need to pad out the amount of sauce you are making. It's a form of cheating, but it has always worked well for me!

About 15 minutes before the sauce is ready, start preparing the pasta.
I will assume that Amanda's readers know how to add art decorations to hot water to make pasta.
Then, put the sauce on the pasta. (It's amazing how often this step slips people up.)
To be really decadent, add parmesan AND mozzarella. Serve. Stand well back.