Red sauce. Tomato sauce. Marinara. Whatever your name for it, we are all more than familiar with this classic base for many a tasty dish and, having just spent a long weekend in Italy, my love for this dinner essential has been reignited.
Yes you could grab a jar of ready made and go, but with just a little bit of effort you can produce something so much more satisfying. Jarred sauces can be overly filled with salt and sugar but by making this easy peasy sauce you can make the most of a glut of tomatoes and have something tasty on hand for a quick weeknight supper.
I make this on a relaxed weekend – a quick chop of ingredients, plonk it in the oven and you can get on with some max relaxing for a few hours. A quick pulse in the liquidiser and you are done! Almost quicker than driving to the shops
- 1 kg tomatoes, halved
- 4 cloves of garlic, skin on
- 1 pepper, in 4 large chunks
- A good grind of black pepper
- Pinch of coarse sea salt
- Punch of sugar
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano
- 40mk olive oil
- 1 chilli, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 140 degree Celsius.
2. Place all the ingredients in a large roasting tin and mix well ensuring all the vegetables are covered in oil.
3. Bake for 2-2.5 hours until the tomatoes are softened and lightly dried. The sugar may start to catch a bit in the tin, try to ensure that this doesn’t go too far as it will make the sauce acrid but a bit of this will give the sauce a subtle smokiness.
4. Remove any heavily charred bits and place the remainder in a blender. Add water and pulse until you get the thickness you want (I add approximately 400-500ml water to create a pasta sauce).
That is it! It really is that easy; if you see a roadside stall with some late autumn tomatoes, why not give this a go?