If I am feeling uninspired in the kitchen, I make a batch of tomato sauce - it takes half an hour to whip up and I feel reassured by its presence in my fridge, knowing that a homemade meal is within easy reach at a moment’s notice - I use it on pasta, spread it on tortilla wraps or ready-made pastry topped with grated cheese to make super-quick pizza or savoury tarts, as a dip, or sometimes splodged on top of rice with a fried egg. There are lots of different tips for making the perfect tomato sauce; I like to use tinned, whole plum tomatoes which are less watery than chopped ones, sugar to balance the tartness of the tomatoes, and a pinch of cinnamon. Also, I blend the sauce when it’s cooked, so the bambinos don’t realise that they’re stuffing their faces with vegetables, HA.
1 x 400g tin whole, plum tomatoes
1 carrot, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper according to taste
- Fry the carrot, onion and celery in oil, in a covered pan (so that they steam as well as fry) until softened.
- Add the garlic and cinnamon and fry for a couple of minutes (it will smell amazing).
- Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, salt and pepper - mix well.
- Bring the sauce to the boil then simmer for around 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Let the sauce cool, then blitz it in a blender.
- Keeps in the fridge for several days.