I simply love a challenge. Almost as much as I love a surprise. So when the folks from ZZ2 asked me if I would take part in their Mouthwatering Box campaign, naturally the answer was yes. Who is ZZ2? You may have spotted them in your local supermarket without realising it. It’s a farming conglomerate that operates in Limpopo, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. Large-scale biological farming is their thing and they produce the likes of onions, avos, apples, pears and truckloads of tomato – 160 000 tonnes of it every year to be precise. Oh yes, they also farm with cattle.
Now the deal was I would get a mystery box, and I needed to come up with a recipe using at least two ingredients from the box. Since they do cattle, I rather hoped there would be a cow in the box. I guess size presented a problem, because nothing mooed when they delivered. But I was not disappointed, because in my box I found some avo, onions, garlic and about five different kinds of tomato. Gorgeous beauties with exotic names like Bacio, Flavio and Rigoletto that make me want to sing bad opera.
It was a bit of a no-brainer that tomato had to be one of my stars. But what would my other be? Hands down it had to be the garlic bulbs – plump, fleshy and juicy, just the way they should be. I knew they would be awesome drizzled with olive oil and roasted until they turn into a soft, sweet, highly perfumed puree.
So I did just that. Then I drizzled some top-notch olive oil into a pan, and added the roasted garlic puree, a sprinkling of dry chilli and a few anchovy fillets. Now before you go ‘eeuw’, anchovy is a magical thing because it simply melts away as you cook it and leaves you with a deeply satisfying umami taste. Tumble in a ton of tomatoes and loads of parsley plus some oregano and basil and mix the lot with pasta. I used beetroot pasta because it’s winter and I can use a little colour to cheer me up. So here it is: Roasted Garlic and Fresh Tomato Pasta – summer on a plate.
Super important PS about WINNING: You too can get a mystery box from ZZ2 plus a R1 000 Checkers voucher! What do you need to do to stand a chance to win? Simply go to the ZZ2 Facebook page and tell them what you would cook with two or more of the following ingredients: fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, onions, garlic.
Even more important PPS: I still had tomatoes left so, even though I’d only agreed to making one recipe, I made two. It will be up tomorrow, so be sure to come visit Merlot and me again.