Tag: Tomato Recipe

Legendary Dishes | Mish Qengji Të Grirë e Vezë (minced lamb with eggs)


Another food of the fields dish.

  • 750 g lamb, minced
  • 450 g carrots, diced small
  • 400 g onions, chopped small
  • 400 g plum tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 45 ml vegetable oil
  • 15 g hot paprika
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Heat oil in a heavy-based pot, and over a high heat fry the onions for ten minutes.

Add carrots, incorporate into the onions and cook for 15 minutes, until the carrots are al dente.

Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Mix the mince into the carrots and onions, add the tomatoes and cook until the liquid in the pot has almost evaporated.

Add the pepper and salt, and all but a pinch of the paprika, cook for a couple of minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish, sprinkle the surface with remaining paprika, break the eggs on top.

Bake until the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Ostropel de Rață cu Mămăligă (duck stew with polenta)


Tomatoes have generally provided the medium for the traditional poultry stew in Moldova and Romania. Easily bought chicken legs are preferred to duck or goose or guinea fowl (which take longer to prepare and cook), and cook quickly in a thin tomato sauce.

We are keeping with tradition, and this means making a broth with the bones, neck and wings of the duck, excluding the skin.

An assortment of berries and herbs added to two litres of water should flavour the carcass, slow-cooked for two hours and finally reduced to produce a rich broth.

  • 1 duck, breasts, legs, thighs separated
  • 500 g tomatoes
  • 25 spring onions, thin sliced / 200 g onions, chopped small
  • 60 ml duck broth
  • 30 ml wine vinegar
  • 45 g flour seasoned with black pepper and salt
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-based frying pan, dredge duck pieces in the seasoned flour and brown evenly over a medium heat, set aside.

Add the onions to the pan, sauté for ten minutes, add the garlic, cook for five minutes.

Deglaze with the broth, increase heat and reduce for five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and peppercorns, bring mixture to the boil. Reduce heat, stir and simmer for ten minutes.

Place duck pieces back into the pan with the thyme, cover and simmer over lowest heat until the meat is tender, about 40 minutes, turning the pieces several times.

Ten minutes before the end of cooking, add the vinegar.

Serve with the polenta.

Indigenous Ingredients


Legendary Dishes | Bottaggio (pork casserole in sour-sweet sauce)


This is a mini-bottaggio made with beans, cabbage, potatoes, pork belly and fresh pork sausages in an aromatic tomato sauce

The art of braising vegetables with meat in an aromatic stock has lost none of its allure among rural communities where pork, leaf vegetables and root vegetables are essential ingredients in the indigneous food culture.

Pot cooking is still an integral aspect of the traditional food culture in Belgium, France, Italy and Spain, where every part of the pig is utilised in a variety of dishes and vegetables are used for their specific properties.

Combining a battuto of carrots, celery and onions with the poorer parts of the pig, pork products, herbs and spices, water and cabbage or potatoes to produce a creamy potage that is neither soup nor stew is still popular in northern Italy.

This ancient tradition goes by many names.

In Lombardy it is generally known as bottaggio or potage and cooked using a method thousands of years old.

In some regions potage is regarded as a medieval food. Restaurant chefs keen to infuse dishes with their creative juices enjoy the potage challenge, flavouring duck and goose with sour and sweet flavours.

But it is the bottaggio made with cabbage and pork that is still a dish of high esteem.

What is interesting is the debate over the origins of this dish. Some food historians believe it is a product of the Spanish when they ruled Lombardy and Naples. They trace it to specific mentions in the cookbooks of the 1600s and 1700s.

Others point to the Medicis in Florence, while some insist it is nothing more than a tradition that has existed in Europe since Roman times when wild boar played a huge role in feast and festive occasions among those who lived in tribal communities.

We have looked at the various interpretations including the ancient traditions and have arrived at this version.


  • 4 litres water
  • 1 pig head
  • 4 pigs feet
  • 4 pigs ears
  • 200 g pork belly rind
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 sage leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary

Place all ingredients in a very large pot, bring to the boil, remove scum, reduce heat and cook over a low heat for six hours, strain.

  • 3 kg cabbage, cut into strips
  • 3 litres stock
  • 1.5 kg pork ribs
  • 12 fresh pork sausages, pricked
  • 500 g carrots, diced
  • 500 g celery, diced
  • 500 g onions, chopped small
  • 400 g prunes
  • 400 g salami, cut into slices
  • 350 g plum tomatoes, skinned
  • 100 g pork belly / bacon, cubed
  • 75 ml dry white wine
  • 60 g butter
  • 60 g olive oil
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Melt butter into oil in a large pot over a low heat, add carrots, celery, onions and pork belly or bacon pieces.

Increase heat to high and cook for ten minutes. Remove pot from heat, deglaze with wine.

Put pot back on heat, add ribs, salami and sausages. Stir for a couple of minutes, add tomatoes and stock (less if you want a thick pottage), bring slowly to the boil.

Reduce heat to low, add cabbage and cook for two hours.

Add prunes and seasonings, cook for thirty minutes.

Serve with polenta.

Condiment | Andalouse Sauze (anchovy, onion, tomato sauce)

  • 250 ml mayonnaise / velouté (white sauce)
  • 250 g fresh tomatoes, soaked in warm water, peeled, chopped small
  • 120 ml tomato soaking water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 90 g shallot, cut into small dice
  • 30 g anchovies
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs, chopped small
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tsp green pepper
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1 tsp dried vegetables
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp spices (from speculaas mixture or allspice, cardamon, clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, white pepper)
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp wine vinegar
  • 1 red chilli pepper (optional)

Soak tomatoes in boiling water, skin, remove core, chop into small pieces.

Sweat shallots in oil over a medium heat until they begin to soften, add anchovies, garlic, tomatoes, dried herbs, dried vegetables, seasonings and spices. Cook until the liquid has evaporated.

Add the capers, mustard, soy sauce and wine vinegar, and, if using, the chilli pepper and sugar.

Fold the tomato mixture into mayonnaise or a velouté, blend, reheat gently and serve with potato frites or use as a dressing on a mitraillette.

Alternatively omit the blending stage and serve as a coarse sauce.

Legendary Dishes | Piperópita Pilíou Πιπερόπιτα Πηλίου (Pelion pepper pie)

  • 800 g horned red peppers, sliced
  • 250 g filo pastry
  • 200 g feta, crushed
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 2 orange peppers, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, skinned, chopped, liquid drained
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 60 ml milk
  • 60 g trahana powder
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g salt

Sauté the onions and sliced horned peppers in the oil, covered, until they begin to wilt. Add the bell peppers, cover and cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat, cook until all the liquid has evaporated, stirring several times. Take off heat, leave to cool. Stir in the feta, tomato pulp, trahana and seasonings.

Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Beat 2 egg whites in a bowl, fold into the cheese-onion-pepper-tomato mixture.

Butter a baking tray. Crumble the filo, place half on the buttered surface of the tray, add the cheese mixture, top with remaining filo. Beat the egg yolks with the milk, coat the filo.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Legendary Dishes | Cowboy Stew (aromatic beef and bean stew)


The original cowboy stew made on the range generally contained chuck beef, beef or veal liver, beef or veal heart and sweetbreads seasoned with pepper, salt and hot chilli sauce. Some cow hands would add beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes for a more complete meal, with cornmeal to thicken it.

Nowadays cowboy stew will contain onions and potatoes, and the seasonings with include garlic. Some like it spicy and will add combinations of chillies with cayenne and hot chilli sauce while the youngsters will add cans of baked beans and tomato soup. It is a stew so this is an expedient decision. Tomato paste and tomatoes will release sufficient liquid to cook the meat.

  • 1 kg chuck beef, cubed small
  • 600 g black beans / white beans, pre-cooked
  • 400 g tomatoes, skinned, chopped
  • 250 g whole kernel corn / sweet corn
  • 250 g onions, sliced into half-rings and small pieces
  • 100 g green beans, cut into large pieces
  • 100 g tomato paste
  • 9 green chillies, chopped small
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp hot chilli sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Place all the ingredients into a casserole, a large pot or a slow cooker and gently fold to mix. Allow 8 hours in the slow cooker, two hours at the highest setting, the remainder at the lowest setting. For the pot simmer at lowest setting for 3 hours. For the oven pre-heat to 190ºC (375ºC), after 30 minutes reduce heat to 110ºC (225ºF), bake for 4 hours.

Legendary Dishes | Vinete Umplute cu Carne (meat-filled aubergines)


This enigmatic aubergine dish is characterised by a method for pre-cooking the aubergines that brings out the full flavour of the vegetable. Instead of removing the pulp from the centre of a divided aubergine, the pulp is cut into diamonds and the aubergine halves are gently softened in the oven, left to cool and then dressed with the appropriate mixture – usually a combination of mixed minced meats, onions, red peppers and tomatoes in various guises. We have cooked the tomatoes with the meat and added red pepper paste at the second stage.


  • 4 large aubergines
  • 120 ml olive oil


  • 500 g beef, minced / 250 g beef, minced + 250 g pork, minced
  • 400 g onions, chopped
  • 400 g red pepper paste
  • 400 g tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, mashed
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g cinnamon
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 allspice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)


  • 400 g semi-soft cheese, cut into 8 slices / hard cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 210ºC.

Cut each aubergine in half along the length. Using the tip of a sharp knife cut diamonds in the pulp of each half, dress with oil. Repeat with remaining pieces.

Place the aubergines on trays, bake for 15 minutes until they have taken on a red-brown colour.

Leave to cool completely.

Sauté the onions and the garlic for 15 minutes until the onions are browned at the edges.

Add the meat, fry for a couple of minutes, add the tomatoes and cook until they have released all their juices.

Season the mixture and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 190ºC.

Stir the red pepper paste and parsley into the meat mixture.

Cover each aubergine ‘boat’ with the mixture, top with a slice of cheese or a few teaspoons of grated cheese.

If desired sprinkle with cinnamon, oregano and thyme.

Bake for 20 minutes.