From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
2 tblsp olive oil
2 onions, roughly diced
2 red peppers, cored, seeded and roughly diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tblsp tomato purée
50g (2oz) light brown sugar
4 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 tblsp dark soy sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan on a medium heat. Add the onions, red peppers and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Stir in the chilli and tomato purée and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the sugar, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce and pour in 300ml (½ pint) of water to just cover. Simmer for 45-50 minutes, until well reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally.
Remove the chilli jam from the heat and leave to cool completely, then tip into a food processor or liquidiser and blend to a purée. Pass through a sieve set over a bowl and season to taste. Transfer to a rigid plastic container and store in the fridge. Use as required.
Cook Ahead: This keeps very well in the fridge for up to 3 weeks and can be put into a squeezy plastic bottle if you would like to use it to garnish plates. This can also be frozen.