There is one ingredient that I am never without in my store cupboard and that is tinned tomatoes. I just adore tinned tomatoes. They are an ingredient that I use often in my recipes and I confess . . . on a hot summer's day nothing is nicer than to sit down to a bowl of chilled tinned tomatoes and a slice of bread and butter! Nirvana! To me this is bliss. Tomatoes picked right at their peak of freshness and then preserved for us to use at will. This is one ingredient you will never find lacking in my kitchen, end of . . .
I was recently sent some Tarantella Organic Tomato products to use in my cooking and I was just thrilled, especially as I use tomato products often in my cooking. I had purchased a tin of these tomatoes just recently while they were on special at the shops, but had resisted buying more because they were not a tomato brand that I had ever really used before. After having used them, and learning more about them, I now wish I had stocked up.
The Tarantella brand demonstrates real Italian passion for food and takes pride in bringing you the best tasting tinned tomatoes, passata and paste. Tarantella tomatoes are raised by Mother Nature with help from the rich Italian soil and hot Mediterranean sun and harvested at their optimum so that they are ripe and juice, which is why they taste so delicious.
Tarantella's tomato range is recognised for its characteristic rich, thick, high brix tomato juice; a great base for Italian inspired recipes including soups and sauces.
Canned tomatoes, passata and paste:
Organic Tomato Paste
Organic Chopped Tomatoes
Organic Peeled Plum Tomatoes
Tarantella canned tomato products have been around since 1892. Authentically Italian, they are
sourced from the heart of Italy, naturally produced with no additives or fertilisers and no pesticides. They are also GM free
I used the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree/paste to make my delicious Macaroni, Cheese and Tomato Bake which is a real favourite in this house. You start by making a delicious tomato sauce which is combined with cooked macaroni . . . a very simple sauce using minced onions, tomatoes, basil, tomato puree and seasoning.
This gets poured into the bottom of a buttered baking dish . . .
A rich cheese sauce is then poured over top . . . homemade of course . . . and the whole thing is then baked until it is bubbling and golden brown. I like to add a crushed cracker crumb topping.
I always think casseroles such as this just beg to be topped with something crunchy . . . but that is just me. It's not really necessary. In any case this was the perfect casserole in which to showcase those lovely Tarantella Organic tomatoes!
*Macaroni Cheese and Tomato Bake*Serves 4
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of cracker crumbs
To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and mustard powder. Cook, whisking for at least one minute, and then slowly whisk in the warm milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil, making sure it doesn't catch on the bottom. Whisk in 175g (1 1/2 cups) of the cheese, stirring until it melts. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Cook the macaroni until al dente according to the package directions. Drain well. Stir the cooked macaroni into the tomato mixture. Pour into a large baking dish and smooth over. Pour the cheese sauce evenly over top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining cheese. Sprinkle on a handful of cracker crumbs.
We have also enjoyed a delicious margherita style pizza which I used the passata to make the sauce. You can find that recipe here.
I confess it's really good. I think that the sauce makes the pizza, don't you?
Tarantella is now sold nationally through a network of wholesalers, supermarkets and online stockists.
A bit of trivia:
Tarantella Peeled Plum Tomatoes were favoured by Miners in the Midlands, post Second World War, as a drink that would help hydrate them and coat the backs of their throats to stop them getting dry and dusty gullets. The miners would drink the premium brix juice before eating the tomatoes; a true testament to the high quality.
Many Thanks to Tarantella for sending me these tomato products to try out. We really have enjoyed them and they are a product I will now actively seek out and buy for use in my home kitchen.
Note: Although I was provided with the tomatoes free of charge, I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are quite simply my own.