Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Tomato Sauce


Note to self: When life hands you tomatoes, quit your whining about the over-supply of tomatoes and make tomato sauce.

*NOTE: This is one of those foundation sauces that I throw into my recipes year-round. If a recipe asks for a bottle of pasta sauce, passata, marinara sauce or canned tomatoes - this is what I'll often use. I've even used it as a pizza sauce. It's also invaluable for when you come home late and the family is starving . With a bottle of this sauce in the cupboard, a box of pasta hanging around and a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano in the refrigerator, you're only ever minutes away from the most comforting of dinners. I can tell you how many times it's saved me.

Tomato Sauce
adapted from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich's  Lidia's Italian-American Kitchen
Makes about 500ml

1.5kg ripe roma tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
4 fresh bay leaves or 2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt flakes
Chilli Flakes

Pass the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with the fine disc.

Whiz the onion, carrots and celery in a food processor until very finely chopped. In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the chopped vegetables and simmer until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, season lightly with salt and chilli flakes, and heat to a simmer. Simmer the sauce over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 45 minutes  Remove the bay leaves. Check the seasoning and add more salt and chilli flakes if necessary.

Serve stirred through pasta. Or bottle it, can it or freeze it for later use. *See note above.


  1. There is nothing like a fresh tomato sauce made from red ripe garden tomatoes. Sadly we used two of the last four jars this week. Months away from garden tomatoes - S.O.S. indeed!
    Your sauce looks heavenly.

  2. Having fresh tomatoes like this all year, I love it. Each year around august, we do a tomato day and we have tomatoes in ''pots Masson'' for all year. It is just so great. I should try your sauce this year :)

  3. Having fabulous tomato sauce around the house at all times is a must! Yours looks fabulous, and your pictures are gorgeous!

  4. Thanks Patty. It's so sad when the last jar of tomatoes is used. Hang in there, summer's coming.

  5. Hooray for Tomato Day Gabrielle. We do the same here. It's usually blazing hot and we're processing tomatoes, thinking about how nice it will be to "eat summer" during winter.

  6. Thanks Little Kitchie. I don't know what I'd do without a jar of tomatoes in the house... I'd just sit and stare at the walls, I think.