Here’s a simple, essential sauce for your kitchen. It’s really easy just to reach for a tin of tomatoes when cooking, but there is an alternative! Make your own tomato sauce! Tomatoes are in season here in Australia and are very cheap, so it’s the perfect time to make use of the savings. This sauce isn’t from any particular region but it is useful cuisines from Mediterranean to Middle Eastern to Asian dishes alike – from pasta sauce to spicy masalas. The sauce itself isn’t infused with any herbs or spices – leaving you the ability to theme it in any way. If it’s all too much like hard work for you then tinned tomatoes are perfectly fine, but for those who like the sound of it then give this a go. It freezes for months so you can portion it up and use it just as you would canned tomatoes.
750g ripe tomatoes (peeled and chopped)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 red capsicums (roasted for 20 minutes then peeled and chopped)
salt & pepper
pinch of sugar
Heat the oil over a moderate heat and then fry the onion and garlic gently for 10 minutes until soft and golden. Add the capsicum and fry for a further 10 minutes until soft again. Turn up the heat and add the tomato and juice. Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, season with plenty of salt and pepper and add a pinch of sugar. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Blend in a food processor then pass through a sieve to remove any big lumps.
Use as a base for whatever calls for canned tomatoes.