This is a basic recipe that lends itself to many variations (see below). You can make it lighter by adding more fresh tomatoes, or heavier and richer by adding more tomato paste and olive oil.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon raw sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the garlic and sauté gently
for a few minutes without allowing it to change colour. Increase the heat to medium and add the tomato. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the tomato puree, tomato paste and sugar. Lower the heat and cook gently for 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge – the sauce will keep for 1 week in the normal part of the fridge or for several weeks in the freezer.
- Dice 1 small onion and sauté in the oil before adding the garlic.
- Add freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley and basil, 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Use 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (make sure there is no added sugar) instead of the tomato puree to give a chunkier sauce.
- For a lighter sauce, use fresh tomatoes only (add an extra 2–3) and omit the tomato puree. This is lovely in summer.
- Add about a handful each of grated carrot and zucchini when you are sautéing the fresh tomato. This gives a little sweetness and is a great way to include more vegetables.