Simplest Tomato Sauce

This originally came from ‘The Silver Spoon’ the infamous Italian cookery book republished in the naughties.

I like to make a batch up and then freeze it in portions ready for one use or another.

This recipe is tiny, i.e. for one meal but all you do is multiply each item up, often I make 4 or 8 tins instead of just the one, I have listed some uses under this artcicle if you are looking for inspiration. Nothing complicated mind you, just quick and easy ideas.

  • 1 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, whole
  • 1 pinch of salt, sugar and pepper (sugar should often be added to tomatoes to balance the acidity)
  • 1/4 of a desseded chili, in one piece, this is for flavour but also a tiny bit of heat, be careful as it can easily dominate so dont use something too strong.
  • a generous few basil leaves, chopped
  • Good quality olive oil
  1. Add the tomatoes, garlic, chili and seasoning and cook on a medium heat with a lid on for about half an hour, the idea is to break down all the bits of tomato into a smooth paste, take the lid off every few minutes and give it a stir to help it along.
  2. When done, take off the heat, remove the garlic and chilli and add the basil leaves, leave to cool, if you cook with the basil leaves they will lose their flavour so doing it this way imparts a really good flavour, nothing is lost.
  3. Finally stir in a tablespoon of good quality olive oil, this really tops it off.

I use it for ;

  • Pizza sauce
  • Tomato, chicken and avacado baguettes (still good without the avacado but perhaps a bit of salad)
  • Pasta sauce, just heat it through, stir in 100ml of cream, heat until its thick and stir into hot pasta, top with parmesan – this is suprisingly good for its lack of effort, but then most Italian food is!
  • As a base for a ragu/bolognese
  • Bruschetta
  • This dish which I havent tried yet but looks incredible

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