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How do you make pesto

00:00 Mon 07th May 2001 |

Q.� How do you make pesto

A.� It's a tasty comination of garlic, ground pinenuts and fresh basil. There are some really good fresh varities available in the supermarket or you can try the bottled versions. Either way, it's great over pasta, or add to some mashed potatoes and whizz with a blender to get a smooth creamy vegetable accompaniement.

�Q.� What's a traditional ragu sauce

A.� Authentic bolognese sauce is a simple combinatiuon of tomato, herbs and minced beef. It's best cooked very slowly to get a dark red coloured thick sauce which can be used to coat pasta. Top cooks recommend making it in bulk and freezing for the future. The essential ingredients are lean minced beef, extra virgin olive oil, chopped onions, chopped garlic, 2oz of streaky bacon, chopped, two tins of chopped tomatoes, a tube of tomato puree, some red wine, fresh basil, and freshly ground black pepper and salt. Many chefs recommend adding a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. The whole thing should take a couple of hours to cook and when it is completely cold it can be divided into polythene bags and frozen.

Q.� What do you use ragu sauce for

A.� It's a handy sauce for a classic spaghetti bolognese. Cook some spaghetti in boiling water, add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the pasta, and serve with fresh parmesan or black pepper. Alternatively, buy some pasta tubes and stuff them with ragu sauce to make cannelloni. In Umbria, they make pancakes for their cannelloni, and you can stuff them with the ragu sauce and top with a white bechamel sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella before baking in the oven. The other great classic is a lasagne. Divide the ragu sauce between layers of pasta and top with a cheesy white bechamel sauce. Bake until golden on top and serve with salad and garlic bread.

Q.� What is spaghetti marinara

A.� Make a simple tomato sauce and add 6oz peeled prawns and 40z cooked, shelled mussels, heat through and serve. Marinara sauce hails from the Neapolitan region and reflects the area's great loves - fishing and pasta.

Q.� What pasta sauces are available for vegetarians

A.� Stockpile a supply of tomato suace and you can add meat, fish or eggs.

Take:

1oz butter

1tssp oil

1 onion, chopped

1 crushed garlic clove

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 pint vegetable stock

dried herbs

fresh pepper

Heat butter and oil in pan and fry onion and garlic until soft. Stir in tomatoes, tomato [uree, stock and herbs. bring to boil, reduce hear and cover.

Alternatively, make a simple cheese sauce with� cheese, mustard and milk, and use as a simple sauce for macaroni cheese.

For more questions on food and drink, click here

By Katharine MacColl

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