A Simple 5:2 Diet Friendly Recipe for Tomato Sauce – Served with Sausages and Polenta:
Do you find that your 5:2 diet cookery spills over into the dishes you make for non-fast days? I know I am far more conscious of the ratio of oils and fats, protein and carbohydrate than I was and that I am tending to eat more fresh vegetables overall – adding them to things like a tomato sauce to give a little more body. Instead of pouring oil into the pan liberally, I’m measuring out a smaller quantity of good quality olive or rapeseed oil. And, while the carnivore in me doesn’t want to give up meat, I’m generally happy with less. This chunky tomato sauce is now a favourite recipe of mine, whether or not I am on a 5:2 diet fast day.
Until a recent visit to La Polenteria I’d forgotten how much I like polenta. Sadly, what was lurking in my cupboard was the ‘instant’ variety of polenta – which no doubt any true Italian would find deeply disturbing. It actually produces something that is a fair approximation of the traditional version which takes twenty five minutes of cooking and stirring time. One day I’ll try making the real thing, but for now, the ‘instant’ variety (just 8 minutes or so of stirring) will do.
Determined to make the most of the wild boar and apple sausages which I’d been sent home with from Notting Hill butchers Provenance, I decided to have yet another try at making a rustic Tuscan style tomato sauce. I did end up adding celery and carrot. In summer I’d probably substitute courgettes and peppers, but at the moment both are rather expensive and out of season. So perhaps I should call this a ‘winter chunky tomato sauce’.
- 400 g Chopped Tomatoes one regular can
- 1 Medium Onion
- 1 stalk Celery
- 1 Medium Carrot
- 2-3 cloves Garlic
- 100 ml Red Wine or stock
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme or a good pinch of dried
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Oregano or a good pinch of dried
- Chop the onion finely and either chop or crush the garlic.
- Warm the oil in a heavy based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and soften for 5 minutes or so till the onion is translucent and just starting to caramelise
- Peel the carrot and top and tail. Finely chop the carrot and celery
- Add to the onion and garlic mixture and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the herbs and stir through well
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce the wine down for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the tomatoes
- Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently. Add a little water, wine or stock if the mixture becomes too dry. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with pasta or polenta on its own, topped with cheese or with meat (sausages, chicken breast, chops etc. This freezes well and will also keep in the fridge for a week or so
This concoction is something that I make up fairly regularly and keep in the fridge. It works well warmed through as a simple sauce for sausages and other grilled or roasted meats. And, it is also good served with pasta, topped with a little cheese. Excellent butchers sausages are a great addition.
The sauce itself is low calorie and a good way to spice up a 5:2 diet meal. At 54 calories for a serving using wine and around 40 per serving if you use vegetable stock, you could add a small chicken breast and some fresh steamed vegetables for a delicious supper at well under 300 calories. Served with a healthy portion of polenta and some wild boar sausages it was NOT a 5:2 diet fast day meal. I don’t have a calorie estimate for butcher’s wild boar sausages although I know that like venison, wild boar is leaner than pork and so should be lower in calories. I suspect that a single grilled wild boar sausage would not be more than 130 calories, but since I have no way of knowing for sure and since I ended up wanting two sausages, I’m sticking with this version for a non-fast day!
With many thanks to Provenance Butchers for the lovely sausages.