Valentine’s Day Menu packed with anti-ageing tomatoes

Serves – 2
Preparation Time – 5 mins
Cooking Time – 10 mins
Tomato & Basil Soup
30ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 x 400g can CIRIO Pomodorini Cherry Tomatoes
1 tbsp CIRIO Tomato Purée
25g ciabatta bread, crumbled
4-5 fresh basil leaves
Croutons to serve
Preparation method:
1 Put the garlic and olive oil in a large pan and cook gently for a minute. Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are really soft and concentrated. Add the tomato purée, 425ml water and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2 Bring to the boil, then add the bread and stir until the bread absorbs the liquid. Cool slightly before stirring in the basil.
3 Blend until smooth in a food processor. Adjust the seasoning and serve with croutons and a drizzle more olive oil, if desired.
Serves – 2
Preparation Time – 30 mins
Cooking Time – 30 mins
CIRIO Oyster Stew.jpg
Olive oil
½ finely chopped onion
½ carrot (finely chopped)
½ celery stick (finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (sliced)
½ bay leaf
½ bunch thyme
¼ bunch parsley
0.4 litres fish stock
1 x 400g can CIRIO Chopped Tomatoes
12 oysters (shucked)
Salt and black pepper
Preparation method:
1 Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large pot. When shimmering add onions, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until wilted. Add bay leaf, thyme, parsley, fish stock, and canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer; cook for about 15 minutes until vegetables are soft.
2 Turn off heat and add oysters and oyster liquor.
3 Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Serves – 2
Preparation Time – 15 mins
Cooking Time – 30 mins
CIRIO Pasta Piselli.jpg
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
½ onion
2 anchovies
0.2 litres vegetable stock
Splash of white wine
Small pinch red pepper flakes
½ cauliflower
½ bunch asparagus
Cup frozen peas
1 x 400g can CIRIO Chopped Tomatoes
Handful toasted slivered almonds
250g Farfalle pasta
Freshly grate parmesan
Preparation method:
1 Fill a large saucepan with cold water and place over high heat (this is for the pasta).
2 Pour olive oil in another large saucepan and turn the flame on low. Mince the garlic and add to olive oil, let cook until just starting to brown. Slice the onion and add to the garlic and olive oil. Add the anchovies to the pan and mash them until they disintegrate.
3 Next, add the vegetable stock and white wine. Turn the flame up to medium-low, and allow the stock and wine mixture to reduce for a couple minutes.
4 Take the head of cauliflower and peel away the green leaves. Cut off the stalks and discard. Chop the cauliflower crowns into bite-sized pieces, set aside. Add the chopped cauliflower to the onion/garlic mixture, and season with red pepper flakes, to taste. Reduce the heat back to medium, and let the cauliflower cook, stirring frequently.
5 Snap the asparagus in half and cut into bite size pieces on the diagonal. Add the asparagus and the peas and cook for about 5 minutes. When the asparagus is almost tender, add the tomatoes. The tomatoes should stay chunky, so do not cook too long, or stir the sauce too much because the tomatoes tend to fall apart. Add toasted almonds and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from heat.
6 When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add some salt and then the pasta. Keep the heat on high. Cook pasta until firm to the bite, al dente. Drain and transfer pasta to a warm bowl. Sprinkle with olive oil, and gently toss. Then add the sauce and gently toss again.
7 Garnish with Parmesan or Romano and serve.

New tomato pill to cut heart disease


London: UK scientists have created a natural supplement made from tomatoes, which they claim when taken daily, prevents heart disease and strokes.

The tomato pill, branded Ateronon, contains lycopene – an antioxidant that blocks “bad” (LDL) cholesterol that chokes the cardiovascular system.

The new lycopene pill is made by a biotechnology spin-out company within Cambridge University, and will eventually go on sale to consumers.

Although research is on-going early trials involving on150 people with heart disease indicate that Ateronon can reduce the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to almost zero within eight weeks, a meeting of the British Cardiovascular Society will be told at Ateronon’s launch next week.

Neuroscientist Peter Kirkpatrick, who will lead a further research project at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on behalf of Cambridge Theranostics Ltd, said the supplement could be much more effective than statin drugs that are currently used by doctors to treat high cholesterol.

Lycopene is already well-known as a powerful antioxidant which is found in the skin of tomatoes which gives them their red colour. But lycopene ingested in its natural form is poorly absorbed.

Ateronon contains a refined, more readily absorbed version of lycopene that was originally developed by Nestle.

Leftover spaghetti bolognese cuts cancer risk


New York: Scientists have discovered that multiple rounds of heating left-over spaghetti bolognese with extra oil has extra health benefits.

The technique alters the structure of the main antioxidant in tomotoes – lycopene so that it is more easily absorbed into the body.Previous studies have already shown that making raw tomatoes into purees or sauces increased the benefits.

Study leader Dr Steven Schwartz, from Ohio State University in Columbus, told fellow scientists at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.’What we have found is we can take the red tomato molecular form of lycopene and by processing it and heating it in combination with added oil, we can change the shape of the molecule so it is configured in this bent form.’

Heat is vital to the process, but so is the addition of some fat, which helps carry the lycopene through the gut walls.

The scientists processed red tomatoes into two kinds of sauce. One was rich in cislycopene – the ‘bent’ variety – while the other mostly contained all-trans-lycopene, the linear form.

A small study was then conducted on 12 volunteers who were given both types of sauce to eat. After each meal, blood samples-were taken and analysed over nine and a half hours. Lycopene blood levels were 55 per cent higher after consumption of the new sauce, the scientists found.