This tomato sauce is exactly what its name says – a wonderfully versatile sauce for all occasions. It was inspired by a basic tomato sauce in Economy Gastronomy by Allegra McEvedy and Paul Merrett – which is a brilliant guide to cooking fantastic food on a budget. With mine, I make a batch, eat some, fridge some, and freeze some for later. This makes 6 small portions.
2 tbsp oil (sunflower, vegetable or groundnut are my favourites)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small red chilli, chopped and deseeded, or a pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp red wine or red wine vinegar (optional)
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree or tomato ketchup
Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chopped onion. Stir in the garlic and chilli and cook on a medium heat until the onions are translucent and sweet.
Measure the wine or wine vinegar into the pan and stir for a few minutes on a low heat until the pungent alcohol or vinegary smell subsides. Then add the remaining ingredients to the pan – the chopped tomatoes and the puree or ketchup. Cook gently, stirring occasionally to disturb and prevent it from burning – for 20 minutes, by which time the sauce should be thickened and a gorgeous glossy red.
Remove from the heat and serve, or divide into portions and either put into the fridge, or allow to cool completely before freezing.
TIPS: I usually eat some immediately over 75g of spaghetti (cooked, 75g is the dried weight!). The remainder can be stored in small Tupperware containers, or if you have children, an ice cube tray makes for handy portion sizes for a quick dinner.
Use it as the base for a sort-of ratatouille, by adding any veg from the bottom of the fridge or freezer drawer.
For a lovely savoury flavour, try adding 6-8 anchovies, broken into chunks, with a tablespoon of sliced black olives and a handful of chopped fresh basil stirred in at the end.
‘Use Me For Anything Tomato Sauce’ recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe, available here.