A delicious tomato sauce with a real depth of flavour, perfect for pizza topping or pasta.
There are hundreds, probably thousands of recipes for tomato sauces out there. And it goes without saying that the most important thing about the sauce is the key ingredient - tomatoes. Most often, outside of Italy you'll be lucky to get really good, flavoursome fresh plum tomatoes (and honestly, if they're that good, I'd probably want to eat them raw!). However, most people can at least get hold of tinned plum tomatoes which are the next best alternative and offer a far more consistent and tasty result when making sauces than using fresh, which can often be watery and lacking in flavour if grown too quickly.
With tomato sauce, you either want to cook it really quickly if you're using good, fresh tomatoes; or a nice long cook for at least 40 minutes, as the acids don't come out of the tomatoes until about ten minutes of cooking - hence quick cooking to avoid them being released, or slowly cook them out to evaporate the acids. This sauce is the latter which means the garlic and onion cook down gently with the tomatoes, into a nice, pulpy sauce. You could, of course, sieve or puree it if you wished to, but I love the texture and flavour of it as it is. Don't forget to add an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil at the end, on your pizza or pasta, of course, and maybe a little fresh torn basil!
Makes around a litre / kilogram of sauce, which should be enough to top 10-12 decent sized pizzas, or coat a similar amount of portions of pasta, or serve as a sauce (you would need even less if serving as a sauce to accompany fish or poultry etc., about half a serving).
Calories: There are 860 calories in total for the batch. If your finished batch weighs 1kg after reducing, then it is 86 calories per 100g (a tenth / approximately one portion for pizza / pasta). For a lower calorie version, reduce the olive oil to 1 tbsp to fry the onion and garlic in, and omit the extra virgin olive oil at the end - this will reduce the total calories to 561 for the entire batch / 56 calories per 100g.
- 1 onion (100g)
- 30g olive oil (couple of tbsps/glugs)
- 3 fat cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 x 400g tins of tomatoes (preferably two chopped, and one whole plum tomatoes in rich tomato juice)
- 40g concentrated tomato puree/paste
- 1 tsp raw / golden sugar (or use honey, optional)
- 2 tsp vinegar (red wine / balsamic / apple cider etc.)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste (you can omit if cooking for small children)
- Fresh basil leaves (10g / couple handfuls)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 20g extra virgin olive oil (or a couple of glugs to taste)
(See below for Thermomix method in italics)
1. Dice the onion, and fry gently in the olive oil until softened. Add the sliced garlic and continue to cook for a further couple of minutes.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes, and if using whole plum tomatoes, snip into the can with scissors before adding them, to chop them up a bit.
3. Add the tomato puree, sugar, vinegar and oregano, and gently bring to a simmer. Don't (fully) cover the pan, and continue to gently cook for 40 minutes, or a little longer if you want your sauce to thicken more, stirring occasionally.
4. Once the tomato sauce has reduced down (by around a quarter or so, until nice and thick), add the salt (to taste - start with less), freshly ground black pepper and torn basil leaves, and a glug of extra virgin olive oil, stir in gently for a few minutes until thoroughly mixed, then taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
5. Cool the sauce down first if using as a pizza topping, or serve immediately with pasta, or as a tasty tomato sauce to have with fish or chicken with roasted Mediterranean vegetables etc.
1. Peel the onion, cut into eights, put into the bowl and chop 2 seconds / Speed 5.
2. Scrape down, weigh in the 30g olive oil and cook 5 minutes / Varoma temperature / Reverse / Speed 1 / MC off.
3. Add the sliced garlic, scrape down if necessary, and cook for a further 2 minutes / Varoma temperature / Reverse / Speed 1 / MC off.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes (and if using the tin of whole plum tomatoes, snip into the can with scissors before adding them, to chop them up a bit first), 40g tomato puree, tsp sugar, 2 tsp vinegar and tsp oregano, and cook for 50 minutes / 100C / Reverse / Speed 2 / MC off and Simmering Basket on top of the lid (right way up) to avoid splatters.
5. Add the salt (to taste - start with less if you want to be cautious), freshly ground black pepper and torn basil leaves, and a glug (say, 20g) of extra virgin olive oil, scrape down the sides and give a quick stir in with your spatula, then cook for 10 minutes / 90C / Reverse / Speed 2 / MC off and Simmering Basket on top of the lid (you can skip this step if you're happy with the sauce and want to use hot with pasta). Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
6. Serve hot with pasta, or if serving as a tasty tomato sauce to have with fish or chicken with roasted Mediterranean vegetables etc. or cool the sauce down first if using as a pizza topping. Enjoy!
I know this is obvious to most, but I do it so often, I feel duty bound to just caution you not to taste the sauce straight from the bowl without letting it cool on the spoon for a minute or two first, or you will burn the roof of your mouth quite painfully!!
This sauce freezes really well, and will keep in the fridge for several days very happily.