Ok, so obviously I wouldn’t recommend eating this tomato sauce with absolutely everything – I’m not sure it’d work with ice cream or apple crumble for instance. However it’s one of those great recipes you can make a big batch of when you’ve got a little time at the weekend, and then keep it in the fridge as a base for loads of meals during the week.
Whenever I serve it up as a pasta sauce or with meatballs my husband always asks how I made it, which is good sign it’s a decent tomato sauce. There’s plenty of hidden veg sneaked in for those more picky members of the family too.
This makes around 500ml but you could also double the recipe and freeze it in small portions to use at a later date.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion or 2 echalion shallots
1 large carrot
1 stick of celery
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp mixed herbs
Couple of glugs red wine
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1-2 tbsp ketchup
Salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh basil
Optional – 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery and then put into a food processor to finely chop (or finely chop by hand)
Gently heat the olive oil in a frying pan.
Add the vegetables and gently fry for 5-10 minutes until coloured.
Crush in the garlic clove and herbs and fry for a couple more minutes. Add a couple of glugs of red wine, the chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree.
If you would like a more spicy sauce you can also add sweet smoked paprika and chilli flakes at this point (this is particularly tasty with meatballs!)
Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 15 minutes. Add a squirt of ketchup and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and add more ketchup/seasoning depending on how sweet or salty you like your sauce. Add a splash of water if it it seems a bit thick and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Put into a blender, add the fresh basil and blend to a smooth consistency. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, and bring out to stir through pasta or courgetti, smooth over pizza bases or spoon onto chicken breast and vegetables for a tasty mediterranean bake.