JUMP TO RECIPE -
Don’t buy the jar stuff. Okay, some of it isn’t too bad and you might be in a rush but I consider it quite an outrage if you should go to the effort for instance of making your own pizza, dough, proving, shaping and all – and then smear some shop-bought stuff over it!
Debatable if it’s tastier made out of fresh tomatoes or the tinned ones, provided they are good quality (San Marzano are the stuff of legends and rightly so). I have quite a glut of tomatoes this summer (home grown! ripened! in the south of England!) so I went the hardcore way, skinning, de-seeding and chopping the fruit.
The Secret Ingredients are mustard, honey and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
Score each fruit crosswise and put in a bowl with boiling water to cover them all well. Drain them after a couple of minutes and the skins will peel easily. Deseed them. The smaller ones can be just squeezed, the large ones cut in half – and squeezed.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (depending how many tomatoes you’re processing)
- a good glug of olive oil
- a spoonful of mustard
- a spoonful of honey
- Worcestershire sauce
- a spoonful of tomato puree (unless your tomatoes are SO ripe they shout ‘no puree!’ to you)
- plenty of salt and pepper
- a handful of basil leaves, chopped finely
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic, only to warm it up. Add the chopped tomatoes (or the contents of a tin), season generously, add all the other stuff and cook, cook, cook over medium heat so that it bubbles happily. The longer the better. The end product should be thick, unctuous stuff.
Tip: if after all that cooking they still haven’t broken down completely and you want a smooth rather than chunky sauce, mash them up a bit with a potato ricer while they cook.
WHAT TO THROW IT ONPizza. Pasta. Meatballs. Potato bake. Courgette gratin. Melanzane parmigiana. Try also baking a salmon fillet covered in the sauce – delishhh, and quite a bit more gutsy than boring grilled fish. For that, you might want to throw some chopped olives and a few capers in. You can add chillies if you like it hot but I personally believe tomato sauce is about tomatoes, not heat.