A good tomato sauce is a really important thing to master. It is really versatile, you can use it for so many different things. You can add it to soups, casseroles and pastas as well as a variety of sauces, marinades and ragu’s.
The store bought crap is LOADED with salt and sugar, doesn’t taste anywhere near as good and is far more expensive. This recipe will make 2 litres that you can freeze in batches and just take out when needed.
Forget the image of a little Italian Nonna or a friendly old Italian geezer that these companies market their products with. They are made with ZERO love, mass produced with cheap ingredients and have only profit in mind. They are laughing at you. Don’t let them.
“What a mistake-a to make-a”
Makes 2 litres
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 x 800g cans chopped tomatoes
- 6 Fresh tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 small onions, diced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 small handful basil leaves
- 8 sprigs thyme
- salt and pepper
- Start by peeling your fresh tomatoes. Put a large pan of water on to boil. Make a big bowl of ice water and leave it next to the stove. Slice a shallow ‘X’ into the base of the tomatoes directly opposite the core and add to the boiling water. Time for 25-30 seconds and remove and add to the ice water immediately. This will completely stop the tomatoes from cooking any further. After a few seconds, because you made the x shape, the tomatoes should peel quite easily. Quarter the tomatoes
- In a large casserole dish or saucepan big enough, heat over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes
- Add the chopped onions, grated carrot and minced garlic. Cook until the onions have softened and become translucent
- Add the tinned and quartered, fresh tomatoes
- Add the bay leaves and whole thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper
- Give everything a stir and mash and larger pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon
- Once the sauce has gently come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes.
- Remove the thyme and bay leaves and add tear the basil leaves into the sauce
- I like to leave the consistency a little thicker, it should be perfect, but if you really want it saucy (you minx) , blend the whole lot before storing
- Give everything one final stir. You are ready….
- I like to add these to glass jars and freezer bags…
Luciano Pavarotti “Pavarotti Forever”
Bare with me here, this is clichéd, but not as clichéd as you think.
When I was 10 years old, Italia ’90 took place. The greatest World Cup I have been alive for (1966 clearly being the best). Because it was held in Italy, 2 major things happened
- my mum made me Spaghetti Bolognese for the very first time, which to this day is my favourite meal
- Because of Italia ’90 and its theme “Nessun Dorma” , I purchase my first CD that happened to be the “Best of Pavarotti” (not the one I have recommended but never mind…..)
Therefore, Italian food, especially ‘tomato sauce’ based food, football and Pavarotti all belong together in my mind…