Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tomato Basil sauce


  • 6 medium tomatoes. (try to get the reddest ones, or vine tomatoes if your budget will allow – they are fuller in flavour. If you can't get fresh tomatoes, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes works)
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6-7 medium-sized mushroom (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • half-dozen fresh basil leaves (try to get a pot of growing fresh basil, always handy to add a fresh flavor to your meals)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
    salt & pepper


  1. Boil the kettle (full)
  2. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut a cross through the tomato skin at their bases.
  3. Place tomatoes in a deep bowl and pour the boiling water over the tomatoes until they are all submerged. Leave until the skins start to peel away.
  4. Drain the hot water from the tomatoes and peel the skin away. The skin should come off easily. If not, pop in the microwave for 30 seconds or add some more boiling water. Cut the tomatoes length ways and remove the white pith and the top where the stalk would have been. Chop the tomatoes into 1cm pieces.
  5. Chop onions roughly to 1/2 cm pieces. Crush garlic cloves
  6. Clean and chop mushroom into quarters or smaller.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the mushrooms if you are using them. Cook them until they turn brown. Add the chopped onions and stir  on a low heat. Cook until the onions turn translucent in color. Be
    careful not to let them go brown as this will make the sauce taste bitter.
  8. Once the onions have changed to translucent, add the garlic, chopped tomatoes, and tomato puree. Add the hot water. Give it a stir so everything is combined well.
  9. Add the sugar, twist of salt & pepper and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes on a low heat.
  10. The sauce should have reduced and thickened a little. If you want the sauce to be thicker, simmer for a bit longer. If the sauce is too thick, add some more hot water.
  11. Once ready, turn the heat off and tear a few basil leaves up and mix into the sauce. Taste again incase it needs more salt & pepper.

The sauce can then be transferred into a bowl to cool down, and once cool, it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days, or you can freeze it in portions. Store the cooled down sauce into those ziplock type bags and put in the freezer as they take up less space. When you want to reheat the sauce, just before serving, add a few fresh basil leaves and you will be surprised at how fresh the sauce
will smell and taste!