Giovanni Rana Simply Italian Tomato and Basil Sauce Recipes

I was challenged by Giovanni Rana to try out their new Italian range and use their sauces in inventive dishes that weren't always the predictable pasta. I have tried a few different things from the brand before and enjoyed the flavours so thought it would be nice to experiment with the classic flavours in unusual dishes.

The first I played with was the Tomato and Basil, as I thought this would be one of the most versatile. It blends the sweetness of plump tomatoes with freshly chopped basil leaves and thought it was perfect stirred through one of their supplied bolognese pastas for a quick dinner.
Tortilla Pizza
After trying the fresh taste, I went on to see what it was like as a pizza base. As the sauce was strong in flavour, it was the perfect start to a tasty pizza. When I am in a hurry, I enjoy making tortilla pizza using wraps which makes dinner fast and easy.
Method
1. Spread the Tomato and Basil sauce over the base of the tortilla.
2. Top with your favourite ingredients, not forgetting the cheese
3. Place in the oven for 10 mins or until the edges start to crisp. (I left mine a little too long but still tasted great)

Cheese and Tomato Grilled Aubergine
When Saturday came round and I was home for lunch, I wanted to have something hot using the sauces and came up with a tomato cheese topped aubergine. It was a great lunch and used up some aubergine I had in my fridge, but I think could also work with courgette slices, grilled peppers or even large mushrooms.
Method
1, Cut the aubergine into 1cm (ish) slices, salt a little and grill for about 5-10 minutes or until starting to soften.
2. Take of the grill and turn over to the less cooked side. Top with a teaspoon of the Tomato and Basil sauce and add some of your favourite grated cheese. I used a garlic and herb cheddar cheese which worked really well.
3. Place under the grill for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.

Cheese and Tomato Twists
Another idea I had was to use them in cheese twists. One of my favourite dinner party snacks are cheese straws and the way I normally make them is with puff pastry and tomato puree. This time I thought I would try the same method with the tomato and basil sauce.
Method
1. Roll out the shop-bought puff pastry (or home-made if you want to be fancy) to the width of a pound coin.
2. Cut into two equal sizes and cover one half with the tomato and basil pasta sauce.
3. Add lots of grated cheese. I like to use cheddar as it has a stronger flavour, but you can use whatever is your favourite.

4. Cover with the other half of rolled out pastry and press down. You want to make sure there is as little air between the layer so the cheese doesnt fall out when making the twists.
5. Cut the pastry into long strips, take both ends and twist. Place each twisted strip on a baking stay and press the ends down to help them stop unravelling whilst cooking.
6. Place in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden.

Overall, this was a great sauce. I found it really versatile and any leftovers can be made into many delicious dishes. There were plenty of other things I thought of that you could also create with this sauce including stirring it into bolognese, pouring over sausages and in a Mediterranean fish bake.

Disclaimer: I was sent these products to review but as always, all opinions are my own.

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