Monday 15 April 2013

Fresh tomato sauce

What do you do when you have a number of tomatoes which are nearly past their prime, a handful of fresh basil from the hardiest basil plant in the world and a clove of garlic which you discovered while cleaning out the pantry? Of course I could have made a fresh salad, but with a bit of a chill in the air lately, I really felt like something warm and comforting. Something like a batch of fresh tomato pasta sauce!

I didn't have a recipe for this sauce, but made it up as I went... the results though were pretty tasty!
  1. Peel the tomatoes. There is a nice link about how to do so here. I'm a fan of the boiling water method myself.  I also find peeling them quite therapeutic really.
  2. In a saucepan, I sauteed two brown onions (diced) and the chopped garlic clove in some olive oil.
  3. When that was appropriately browned, I added a good lug of white wine from a bottle that was open in the fridge. Boil the alcohol out of that.
  4. Add the peeled tomatoes which have been diced roughly, and a tablespoon of brown sugar to combat the acidity of the tomatoes. I added a chopped chilli as well.
  5. Turn the heat way down, and let this simmer as long as possible to let the flavours develop and the tomatoes break down. Mine was on the stove from mid afternoon until dinner time. Be sure to stir occasionally so that it doesn't burn and stick to the bottom.
  6. Just before taking off the heat, tear up the basil and allow to infuse for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Viola!

Sorry about the picture. The chill in the air also means darkness comes earlier, so there is an extra challenge taking pictures without natural light.

Served with fettuccini, this was an amazing fresh and tasty meal.  I grew the basil and the chilli, and I contributed a couple of homegrown cherry tomatoes in there as well. Yes, it's not the vibrant red of store bought sauces but this is preservative free, tasty and made the entire house smell like an Italian restaurant. 

  • Peel the tomatoes.  You could probably get away without doing this, but sauces are always nicer if you don't have to pick stringy tomato skins out of them and sometimes the skins make sauce taste a bit acidic.
  • I've always been taught not to cook with a wine I wouldn't drink. Use something halfway decent, or just leave it out.
  • Fresh ingredients make the difference. The basil was delicious in this - I could easily have added more.
  • I think this sauce would be great to puree as well if you're not into the chunky sauces. It stores really well frozen also.
  • I've deliberately left this sauce very plain as I freeze portions of it like this. I then use it as a basis for other meals, and add flavours then for whatever I'm cooking. I use it as a basis for lasagna, more complicated pasta sauces, or even to add flavour to stews and casseroles.
What about you? Are you a fan of fresh pasta sauces?


  1. Try it with roasted tomatoes =) Soooooo good!!! Place the tomatoes and some crushed garlic cloves on a tray and drizzle with olive oil, then place in the oven. If you're feeling fancy you can also sprinkle some rosemary and/or oregano on the tomatoes. Then peel the skins off the tomatoes and garlic and smoosh together before you add it into the sauce. YUM!!!!!!

    1. Oh my word that sounds amazing! I know what my next tomato harvest is going to be used for! Yummy!



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