I may have inadvertently picked the perfect time to tell you about this recipe. It’s the beginning of the week and having this sauce on hand means that you can cruise through those weekday suppers like it ain’t no thing. We go through two jars of this stuff every week between the two of us, and it goes on everything from fried eggs in the morning, to this, this and this (all of which are variations of this basic sauce recipe). And if that list doesn’t suffice, I use it as a pizza sauce, to simmer meatballs in, and even as a dip with fries or crudités. So versatile, and how!

I’ve been using this recipe for the longest time now, and it’s so quick, uncomplicated and delicious that I’ve never found a reason to divert from it (and I’m saying that!). I amp up the heat with some extra chilli flakes every now and again, but otherwise it’s pretty much the same drill every time. Pure, unadulterated, and totally comforting.


Serves: 3 cups
  • 12 large ripe tomatoes (I use a combination of regular and heirloom) or 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  1. If using fresh : Bring a large pot of water up to the boil and drop the tomatoes into it. Leave them there for 7 - 10 minutes, or until their skins just about start to blister and come off. Drain and let them cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, peel back their skins completely and purée coarsely in a blender. Set aside.
  2. If using canned : blend coarsely and use.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pot and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until lightly browned, before adding the oregano and chilli flakes. Tip in the puréed tomatoes / canned tomatoes, 1 cup of water and sugar, and season well with salt and fresh pepper. Bring this sauce up to the boil, then simmer for 25 - 30 minutes until it reduces and you get the right consistency.
  4. Let the sauce cool completely before adding the torn basil leaves. Pour into sterilized glass jars and refrigerate. You could freeze this too, but make sure to use appropriate containers. * It stays well in the fridge for up to 15 days.


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