Di’s Basic tomato sauce


Di’s Basic tomato sauce

tomato sauce 2

A simple tomato sauce that can be used as a flavour base for many recipes. Add to soups and casseroles, mix through a bowl of your favourite pasta or spread over a pizza base.

Preparation: 20 minutes    Cooking time: about 1 hour

Makes about 3 cups


  • 1kg very ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (peel tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 small sprig each fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary, 3 stalks parsley, 1 bay leaf, tied together)
  • 1 strip lemon rind and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced (optional)


  1. In a heavy-based pan sauté onion and garlic gently for 3-4 minutes until softened but not browned.
  2. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, lemon rind and a squeeze of juice, bouquet garni, sugar, salt and pepper to the pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Simmer gently, uncovered, for about 1 hour or until tomatoes have fully collapsed and sauce has thickened. Stir often so sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan. (Add chilli, if using, halfway through cooking and stir in well.)
  4. Remove bouquet garni and lemon rind, taste sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Blitz with a stick blender if you like your sauce less chunky.
  • Spoon into sterilised jars or store in the freezer if not using immediately.

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