This is an essential recipe to have. Tomato sauce can be used in an infinity of dishes from pasta sauces (on its own or with other ingredients, like cream), meatballs, pizza, roasted or braised meats, stews and even fish dishes. This one is really easy and can be frozen. That means that you can make a batch and divide into individual portions for freezing and use as you need it.
The fresher the ingredients the better and if you can use fresh tomatoes, then you raise the bar for this sauce. I haven’t done that here because I find it very difficult to find properly ripe tomatoes in England. At least ripe like I know them – dark red, sweet and already on the way to mushy. You get these easily in southern European countries like Portugal, Spain or Italy but I have never seen them here.
I am very lucky that I have proper dried oregano that I stock up every year when I go to the Algarve. My Mum buys it in bunches from the fruit market ladies who dry them in their gardens under the hot Algarve summer sun.
I usually get a huge bunch and when I get to England I scrape the leaves into an airtight container. It lasts for months and it keeps its wonderful fragrance throughout. Don’t worry if you can’t get sun-dried oregano, you can use the shop-bought spice jar.
The most important thing with this sauce is to let it simmer for a long time so the flavours develop well. If you think it is thickening too much before the cooking time is up, don’t be tempted to stop it early. Just add a little water and keep going. In the end you are left with a rich, slightly sweet deeply flavoured and coloured thick sauce. Tried and tested many times!
You can either leave the sauce lumpy just as it is when you finish cooking or liquidise it for a smooth texture if the dish you want to incorporate it in requires a smooth sauce.
I used about a third of this batch to make bagel pizzas for 4 people (recipe here!). The sauce really made a difference!
|1 batch||5 minutes|
An easy and versatile delicious tomato sauce that can be frozen, so better cook in batches. One batch is enough for 2 dinners for 4 people of a pasta dish with a tomato base or meatballs. Serves approximately 8.
- 4 echallion shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 4 leaves bay
- 1 tbsp oregano dried
- 100 ml Port wine ruby or tawny
- 800 grams chopped tomatoes tinned
- 50 ml water
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Tabasco
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- black pepper freshly ground
- Place the olive oil in a medium to large pan in medium heat. Finely chop the echallion shallots and the garlic, and add to the olive oil together with the bay leaves. Let it soften for 5-10 minutes.
- After that time, add the Port wine and the dried oregano. Leave it to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and the Worcestershire sauce and season well with salt.
- Fill the tins of chopped tomatoes with the water and add to the mix. Let it simmer gently for 15 minutes (do not cover).
- Add the cinnamon and the tabasco and mix well. Let it simmer gently for another 25 minutes. If the sauce is getting too thick, add water as desired. Add black pepper at the end and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Super easy to make! The port wine definitely makes this a fantastic sauce. We’ve used it in home made pizzas, a pasta sauce and even with some salmon and rice. Just yummy!
This sauce is really versatile, glad you found that too! And thank you for commenting and the lovely words.
The Copper Kettle
This looks like the sauce to go with my Polpettes di funghi! Looks very tasty and very versatile.
Hi Andrea, it does take its time in the pan, but well worth it in the end!