I used to really hate tomatoes and the only tomato based food I would eat was pizza with an extremely thin layer of sauce. Then one fine evening at a friends house for dinner I was presented with a plate of pasta smothered in “Dolmio brand” pasta sauce. Out of pure politeness I decided I would try and eat it. To my surprise it was quite nice! From then on I found myself buying spaghetti sauce in jars from the supermarket. The own brand was pretty cheap but I was not satisfied with it and thought I could probably make my own variation at home for even less. Plus cooking from scratch is often much healthier.
These days I absolutely love pasta sauce (I still hate raw tomatoes though!!)
I built this spaghetti sauce recipe up over time. I never read any recipes and started from scratch just guessing what would work out, so if you have any suggestions for improvement or extra frugality, please let me know.
INGREDIENTS: (produces around 5 good sized servings, can be frozen and easily reheated
- 4 tins plum tomatoes (cheapest ones do fine, I have discovered) or the equivelent in fresh tomatoes (Edit, I always use fresh these days)
- 1 Medium Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic (or to taste)
- Vegetables (Use your favorite, a few carrots, some broccoli, courgettes and green/red peppers work well using a handful or so of each)
- Dried or chopped fresh Basil to taste
- Salt or Soy Sauce to taste
- 1 Tbl spoon molasses, sugar or honey
- Olive or canola Oil
- Chop the onions and vegetables into chunky pieces
- Chop the garlic finely or use a garlic crusher
- Heat a small amount of oil in a large wok or pan and then add the onions and garlic. Fry for a few minutes until slightly browning.
- Add the vegetables and fry for a few minutes making sure you keep stirring.
- Then you can just go right ahead and add all the tinned tomatoes and make sure th heat is fairly high.
- Straight after add a tablespoon of molasses / sugar, this helps to break the tomatoes down and gives a slight sweet taste.
- Now keep watch on the tomatoes and stir and slowly crush them with your stirring device (this will get easier as the cooking goes on) until it starts to produce a lumpy sauce (should be about 10mins)
- Add a small amount of salt or soy sauce (to taste) then add loads of basil.
- Keep the whole thing simering for another 10-15mins longer making sure you keep coming back to further crush the tomatoes and stir the mixture.
- Then serve straight onto whatever type of pasta you wish.
I told you this tomato sauce recipe was simple and I give you my word it is very nice!
I use this recipe quite often and make it is varied batch sizes depending on how many ingredients I have in the fridge. It can be easily frozen and reheated in a pan or microwave.
Variations and Alternative Uses
In many ways this sauce is a base sauce and can be adapted to make many different pasta sauces or even different dishes.
- Add chickpeas, beans and varying vegetables to get different textures and tastes.
- Other herbs can be mixed or replaced. I like using Thyme and Rosemary
- Adding a little cream can turn the sauce into a Rose style sauce that is great over Tagliatelle.
- A little chili powder can make an Arrabiata style sauce.
- Add a little olive juice and caper juice (plus capers) for a Putenesca style sauce.
- A great vegetarian chili can be made by adding mixed beans, chili powder, red and green peppers and corn to the base source and simmering until hot throughout.
- Add some curry powder to make a basic curry that is great over rice.
What did you think of this Spaghetti Sauce Recipe?
If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please let me know…