Was there ever a more versatile tin than one which contains tomatoes? They’re the base of so many dishes in cuisines from around the world and they bring brightness and vitality to food when fresh tomatoes are just a dream – such as the doldrum days of mid-January.
Even food writer Georgina Hayden struggles at this time of year, saying: “It doesn’t matter how much I prepare, I still always feel the pinch in January and heavily rely on my store cupboard and freezer, with the help of a few fresh ingredients.”
She finds inspiration in the humble, economic tins. “Tinned tomatoes are a constant, and can easily be transformed into a hearty, warming meal without much effort. One of my favourites being pappa al pomodoro – the Italian classic tomato and bread soup, which you’d never know was just a standard tin of toms.”
Along with writers Olia Hercules, Zoe Alakija and Clodagh McKenna, she shares three brilliant recipes using the store cupboard staple – between them a world of ideas appears.
A couple of tips: plum tomatoes in tins are often better than chopped; either crush them in your hands or chop yourself before adding to a recipe. And if your tomatoes taste a little “tinny”, a pinch of sugar should help.