Tuesday, June 26, 2007

For Dinner Tonight:

Wholewheat Spaghetti Bolognaise
Homemade Vanilla Ice-Cream with Raspberry Puree

A little better today, both healthwise and foodwise. I made the sauce with some of last year's frozen tomato passata. I would like to try bottling (canning) the passata this year but the whole process makes me feel very nervous. All the modern recipe books I have that mention bottling have dire warnings about botulism (the vintage ones don't mention it at all - were they all immune?). The passata is great frozen, it just takes up a lot of freezer room.

I also added a 'secret ingredient' to the sauce: a couple of tablespoons of Lutenitsa. Lutenitsa is a sweet red pepper and tomato paste that has a multitude of kitchen uses. Added to a tomato sauce it gives instant 'depth' - as though the sauce has been simmering for hours in a rustic kitchen. The variety we use (brought with us in bulk when we moved from east London) is made in Bulgaria by a company called Deroni, but there are other manufacturers.


Laura said...

I was under the impression that foods with a high acid content (such as tomato products) were at very little risk for botulism. At any rate, I believe that boiling suspect foods for 10 minutes kills the botulism spores.

Baleboosteh said...

Laura, you are right. I've been reading up some more and it seems that tomatoes, because of their acidity and 'fruit' status are okay to process this way. The UK books say 'just don't do it' when it comes to any other vegetable - pressure canners (as opposed to pressure cookers) are unheard of here. Bottling used to be very common here but now it is a dying art. I will be brave and try it this harvest!