Homemade Tomato Sauce

sauce bottles

Banish Your Shop Bought Tomato Sauce Bottles

Of all the time and labour saving convenience foods available in the supermarket, tomato sauces are probably the most unnecessary. Making your own is so simple, fresh, sweet and delicious that once you’ve tried it you’ll never want to buy canned or bottled versions again.

Make your own sauce: pizza and pasta

  • 1-1.5kg ripe plum tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until they are soft and translucent.

Add the tomatoes and half of the basil, then season. Simmer gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 1-1½ hours or until the liquid has reduced and the tomatoes reach a thick, jammy consistency. This sauce freezes, so works well made in large batches or it can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator if stored in sauce bottles or jars, sealed tightly.

Make your own sauce: ketchup

  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, trimmed and chopped
  • Olive oil
  • ½ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ¼ fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • Handful fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 dessertspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • Sea salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1kg fresh, ripe tomatoes of any kind, skinned and chopped
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 70g soft brown sugar

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy based saucepan and add the onion, fennel, celery, ginger, garlic, chilli, coriander and cloves. Season and cook gently for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally, then add the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer until at least half of the liquid has evaporated.

Make Ready for Your Sauce Bottles

Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the basil leaves and then blend the sauce until smooth with a hand blender or in batches in a food processor. Push the mixture through a sieve a couple of times to make sure the sauce is completely smooth and then add it to a clean pan with the vinegar and sugar. Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens to about the consistency of ketchup. Taste and season accordingly. Pour into sterilised sauce bottles, seal tightly and store in a cool, dark place for up to six months. Once your sauce bottles are opened, refrigerate.

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