Here’s a basic recipe for a basic food staple: tomato sauce.
Made in large quantities when you find some cheap, ripe tomatoes it can last you for ages.
This recipe makes one kilogram of tomato sauce: you can freeze/refrigerate it and then use it as the basis for lots of other things like pizzas, lasagne, dips, etc.
Time: Less than 2 hours.
- 1kg ripe tomatoes
- 4 large shallots
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Handful of herbs (here I’m using fresh thyme, but you can choose your herb of preference; dried herbs are a decent alternative to fresh)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- a couple of large pans
- large bowl
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- greaseproof paper.
1. Cut out the ‘eyes’ of the stalk end of the tomatoes & cut a cross at the opposite end
2. Finely cut the shallots, crush the garlic and remove the leaves from the thyme
3. Put a large pan of water to boil with the lid on & fill a bowl with ice water.
1. Put each tomato in boiling water for 10 seconds then drop in ice water
2. Peel tomatoes and remove the flesh (discarding the seeds)
This bit was tricky and messy (hence no photos!). I cut the sides off the tomato and then scooped the seeds out. Once all seeds have been removed the flesh that you are left with can be used
3. Chop flesh until it’s a pulp. I imagine that if you’re making a hug batch then you may want to use a blender to do this to avoid getting covered in tomato juice
4. Heat a saucepan & add the oil. Once hot, add the shallots, garlic, & thyme, and cook for a couple of minutes until softened (but not coloured)
5. Reduce the heat to its lowest temperature, add the tomatoes and then cover with greaseproof paper
6. Cook for at least an hour (longer is better) so that the water is gently evaporated. When it’s thick and red it’s done!
At this point it’s up to you what you’d like to do with it. In my case I’m going to use it to make salsa and bolognese, so I’ll put it in containers and use in the next few days. You could equally use it straight away or you might want to freeze it for a rainy day.
This is just my version of tomato sauce, you can alter it to your preferences. The more you make it, the more you can make it to your own tastes. If you’ve got any variations on the sauce it’d be great to hear them, and if you fancy seeing your handy work on the web for all to see then upload your pictures to Twitter and tag them #tbcc (or Tweet @scottcolfer).