Thursday 31 May 2012

Jars of Sunshine: Something for the Weekend


Last Friday it was nothing short of a pleasure when I returned home from the last school journey of the week, the one that means emptying the car of all the paraphernalia collected astonishingly in five short days from the various excursions. I didn't even mind the wet swimming kit slapping against my trousers as I veered down the path laden with bags to my front door. For there, waiting for me, was a bumper sized delivery from Aarstiderne.
When I say "bumper sized" I do mean it for we had a birthday BBQ on Saturday and used the opportunity to try some boxes that aren't on our regular list. Therefore I returned home to a box of Prosecco, a box of wines, a beer box, the cured meats box and the cheese box. To round the order up I added a box of tomato passata, it slightly lessened the extravagance of the other purchases and eased my alcohol soaked conscience.

With the Prosecco safely in the fridge I needed to make dinner for the children and my first thought was to try the cured pepper salami cooked quickly with passata as a topping for some wholemeal pasta. A regular ‘fast food’ for us and I opened the tomato jar without thinking, until the aroma hit me, that wonderful smell of tomato, sun ripened healthy as they come, tomato.
Pasta with Passata and Pepper sausage

The tomatos used in the passata are grown on the farm of Manolo Vals, his wife Rosa and their three children, Reuben, Daniel and Maria. Based deep in the countryside of Northern Spain the family tend to their third generation farm from where they grow tomatoes, olives and refine citrus fruits from the best breeders in Spain. All their production is biodynamic and the raw material ends up as fruit juice, jarred olives and tomato produce of various kinds.
The love and care that this produce received whilst growing just pours forth in it’s taste and texture. As soon as I smelt the rich puree I took a sip and then another and another, it really was delicious and that was straight from the jar. My son walked in and caught me mid sip which caused him to exclaim “Mama are you drinking it!!?” well quite frankly I would have happily stuck a straw in and thoroughly enjoyed a tomato smoothie but something in his tone bought me to my senses and I returned to providing a very tasty, super quick easy supper. Curious to try I subsequently made cold tomato soup with avocado and a light seasoning (very good) as well as a pasta and bean soup topped with gorgeous pancetta.

Empty Jar number 4

We are down to just two jars out of the six and I will certainly be ordering again next week and not just to make up the numbers, this is one ingredient I cannot live without. 

Now, where did I put the straws? The children are at school and I feel like a smoothie...

To try some for yourself click here

6  jars of passata cost 145 kr

Text and photographs by Sally McWilliam

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