My son, who is dairy free, takes a hot lunch to school inside a thermos flask. He adores pasta so it’s often pasta with something else. I came up with this which I served with his pasta, and then used the same recipe to make a gorgeous pizza topping.
1 onion, chopped, 10p
1/2 red pepper, chopped, 16p
100g frozen spinach, 14p
1 tin baked beans, 25p
1 tin chopped tomatoes, 31p
1 tsp garlic granules, 10p
1 tsp dried mixed herbs, 5p
1 stock cube (I used a beef stock cube but any will do) or 1tsp marmite, 15p
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (for flavour – but any vegetable oil will do), 15p
Total = 35p per portion
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and pepper and cook over a low to medium heat until softened and glistening.
2. Add the spinach and cook for another minute or so, stirring gently.
3. Add the baked beans, chopped tomatoes, herbs, stock cube and garlic.
4. Heat through until bubbling.
5. Reduce heat and simmer gently until reduced*.
6. Use as a pasta sauce or add to a pizza base and sprinkle sparingly with cheese of your choice (I used lactose free and soya cheeses).
When cookery books and TV chefs use the term ‘reduced’, what they mean is that whatever you’re making has lost some of its moisture through steam, and as a result the mixture has thickened. If you let it bubble gently, stirring regularly to prevent sticking or burning, it will reduce nicely.