Friday, 14 December 2012

You've Got a Sauce!

Ragú di Pomodorini & Albicocca al Forno
Oven-Baked Cherry Tomato & Apricot Ragú

Of course, being a Saucy Chef, I have plenty of sauce- but I am sure you have noticed that well enough by now! This evening though, I tried a little experiment, which I would like to share with you... as it was so tasty and fun! Oh... and it also helped me to empty my fridge- lol! My favorite thing to do before a vacation as you also know!

My thought was to reduce down the essence of the tomatoes in the oven, but knowing that they would become rather tangy and tart, I decided to mix them with some fruity dried apricot to add some balance and a whole different note to the usual. All I can say is: Genius! I did a good thing- and maybe you will too after reading this!

As you can see, I simply halved the tomatoes, and sprinkled them generously with salt and pepper. I added diced carrot, celery, onion and garlic- entirely as I would have if I had made a sofritto for a classic sauce. I added fresh basil, a splash of olive oil and a little water... and off it went into a hot oven- 350°, for 10 or 15 minutes...

After that time, it was bubbling away nicely and the tomatoes had just begun to soften. I pressed them down a little with a wooden spoon so they would release their juices, then gently pressed the apricot down so that it would also become moist and returned it to the oven...

10-15 minutes later, the same again... only by now the juices and the water and oil had begun to render down and I discovered upon tasting, that it was just ridiculously delicious! Yum! I gave it a final 5 minutes with direct heat from above, so that it would reduce down a little more, added a last drizzle of olive oil and hey-presto... the sauce was ready... and all I needed was some yummy pasta to go with it...

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