Friday, 29 January 2010

Very Handy Tomato Sauce

This is one of my staples. I make a big pot of this every month or so and freeze it into bags of little cubes to use when needed. It's super versatile; it can be passata for pizza, a base for soup, a replacement for ketchup with chips or even just the tomatoey element to any recipe you can think of. It's most perfect as a last minute pasta sauce, if I'm in a rush and haven't planned tea I just boil pasta and add a few cubes of this sauce plus whatever other extra veg/meat I have in the house. It's very easy and obvious to make but I'll hazard a recipe anyway.....

Handy Tomato Sauce


1 onion

3 cloves garlic

5 carrots

1 pint vegetable stock ( either homemade or I sometimes use the Marigold low salt one)

1/2 cup red lentils

2 tins tomatoes (or fresh if you're lucky to have them)

Tomato purée... A good squirt!

Plus whatever extra veg you have in the house! Today's sauce had an aubergine, some courgettes, and red and green peppers.

1. Finely chop all the vegetables including the onion and garlic. If using peppers I roast them first and remove the skin (putting them in a plastic bag straight out the oven and then removing once cool makes the skins easier to peel off) before slicing them up.

2. Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry gently until softened.

3. Add the carrots (and any other root vegetables) and fry gently for another 5 mins.

4. Add the other vegetables and fry for 5 mins more.

5. Now add the stock and lentils and bring to the boil.

6. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes and tomato purée.

7. Now simmer until all the veg and lentils are soft.

8. Liquidise the whole lot. I use a hand blender in the pot as my kids love veg and don't mind the odd lump, but if your kids are fussy and you're trying to disguise the veg then do it in a stand up blender.

9. Freeze using ice cube trays. Once frozen transfer the cubes into a freezer bag or Tupperware for convenience.

Lovely stuff! Papaya and Povey are about to have some on pasta with added herbs, red wine and chorizo.... Yum yum!

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