I try to bulk cook things as much as I can. For one, I enjoy cooking but it is also generally more economical and convenient. I shared Hayley’s chilli recipe a couple of weeks ago and that is exactly the kind of things I like to cook on a regular basis. Chicken Summer Stew is also a go to, affordable, freezable recipe which I will share soon. The other night I needed to rustle up something quickly as it was getting late. I looked in the fridge and figured I could try and make a quick ragu.
In my experience, and from my Mum’s advice, ragu and tomato sauces always taste better when they’ve been left for an hour or so to bubble and go all rich and tasty. I was so chuffed that I managed to create a delicious ragu full of my favourite veg in only 15 minutes. This recipe also eliminates the issue of awkward half portion leftovers. These photos are from the recipe doubled but it still look less that 30 minutes. The instructions are still for a one portion of ragu.
Quick, easy, tasty and healthy. Can’t go wrong there really!
I got these colourful tomatoes at the vegetable shop the other day. Usually I just use cherry tomatoes but these made a great sauce that was even more flavoursome that usual. Plus they just look so pretty, hehe.
For this recipe to feed one person, you will need: 150g (or so) cherry tomatoes, 1/2 small red onion, 1 garlic clove, half red pepper, handful green beans, half courgette, 1tbsp tomato paste, 4 basil leaves, salt & pepper, 1tsp dried herbs (I used oregano but Italian herbs would work too), olive oil1. To start with, as this is a quick cook recipe, prep all your veg. Dice everything because you want things small so they cook through in the short time. I like my beans a little crunchy so made them a little chunkier. Crush your garlic too, or if you don’t have a garlic press, chop as finely as you can. Heat about a half tbsp of oil on medium when you’re nearly ready to start cooking. If you’re using cherry tomatoes, halving them will do. If you’re using full sized ones, about 2cm squared pieces will do.
2. On medium heat, fry your garlic and onion for a couple of minutes making sure they don’t catch. Add the peppers and beans and season, plus add your dried herbs and fresh basil. Cook for a further 4 minutes until softened.
3. Add your courgettes and then squeeze in the tomato paste and stir that in well. Add your tomatoes and a splash of water. Keep stirring until it’s bubbling away. Make sure there is enough liquid as you want it to boil off to make a thick ragu.
4.When it’s bubbling away and the tomato juice has given off lots of liquid, turn your heat up to high and boil off. Be careful to keep stirring, you don’t want the bottom to burn or catch but you want the juices to reduce. Season again as you do this. Do this for as long as you have really, but 5 minutes should give it enough time to come to the right consistency.
5. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before you serve as it has been boiling away on a high heat. And voila!
I like to serve with some breaded fish or chicken on top as it adds a nice crunch. Here are some other ways this recipe might work…
-As a bed for chicken wrapped in bacon!
-With butter beans through to make a bulkier, more substantial meal for lunch or dinner.
Whatever you fancy, this is just an amazingly quick and tasty dish.
I’d love to see snaps if you try or hear feedback. This is just what has worked for me so give it a go and adapt it to suit your tastes and needs!