I really hit a blank naming this thing. This is, in a word, the most damn delicious thick tomato sauce I’ve done, and it’s got no thickeners or starch in it. But what to call it??
This is a fantastic mezze for a Turkish or mediterranean spread, quick and easy to whip up, and pairs perfectly with some chunky bread and olive oil.
With that said though, we discovered this while hunting for a basic tomato pasta sauce, which kinda took it’s own direction with cumin and lemon zest and a few other goodies adding flavour.
Tomato, olive and lemon mezze
- olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
- grated zest of half a large lemon
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin, crushed
- 150g Smoked meat We used venison, but bacon is also fine.
- 150g Mushrooms, sliced If you are using boletus or another strong mushroom then use less, as your gut feel dictates.
- 1 can tomato and onion mix or just canned tomatoes, whatever
- handful of olives, pitted and chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- handful of basil leaves, washed and chopped
- Fry the onion, carrot, chilli, lemon zest and sugar in olive oil in a large pan on high heat until starting to brown and caramelise – stir constantly to stop them sticking. Remove from the pan and blend into a smooth paste in a food processor or nutribullet.
- Fry the garlic slices and cumin in the same pan with another splash of olive oil for a minute or 2 until the garlic is just starting to change colour.Add the bacon/ham/smoked springbok at this point, and fry for another minute. Add the mushrooms and continue to fry until soft, adding a bit of water to deglaze the pan and stop the spices from sticking and burning if necessary.
- Add the canned tomato and the onion/carrot paste, along with the olives, paprika and basil. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until well combined – you can continue to cook down if it’s a bit sloppy still but it should be nice and thick at this point. Serve on its own as a mezze drizzled with olive oil, or on noodles as the best damn pasta sauce you’ve ever had. Enjoy!