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Freelance journalist, sub-editor, and e-novelist

Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

Multi-purpose tomato sauce for the freezer

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Great standby over the holidays

Vegetarian, vegan

Makes 4-5 litres of thickish tomato sauce for pasta, pizza, chicken or wherever your imagination takes you.

Tomato sauce - takes about 30 minutes to get this into the pot. Then you have the basis for about 12 x 4 dinners.

I find this tomato sauce indispensible and I always have it in the freezer. First, you do need to cook it for at least 2 hours. But then you have enough sauce to form the basis of about 12 meals for 4 people (that’s 48 meals!). Frezze it in small quantities in plastic bags, plastic boxes or even glass jars with lids – then it’s easy to defrost. I use organic ingredients for this – I reckon it is still cheap because you get such a lot of sauce.  A food processor is really useful here – especially if you prefer to chop whole tinned tomatoes instead of the ready chopped ones. I use this sauce:

  • For a quick dinner of spaghetti with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese;
  • To pour over chicken breast fillets and bake for 45 minutes (serve with couscous);
  • And most of all as a topping for my homemade pizza (or you could use it over a shop-bought base).


  • 500g peeled onions, chopped
  • 150g peeled carrots, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 8 x 400g can chopped tomatoes (or whole tinned tomatoes, chopped)
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • One bay leaf
  • A few sticks of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chilli
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 glass of red wine or a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

The print version of how I cook this sauce is below the photos. Enjoy!

How I do it

  1. Cover the base of a really large casserole type pan with olive oil and heat slowly (there is no other fat in this recipe). I use a Le Creuset pot that I got as a wedding present (and that’s well over 20 years!).
  2. While the oil is heating, peel the 500g onions and cut in quarters. Chop finely. and add to oil in pot and cook slowly for about 10 minutes stirring.
  3. Peel and chop the 150g carrots.
  4. Add the 2-3 stalks of celery to the food processor and pulse – you don’t want a mush.
  5. The carrots and celery should look like this when chopped.
  6. Stir the carrots and celery into the onions and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Add the tinned, chopped tomatoes.
  8. Stir the tomatoes into the vegetable mixture.
  9. Fill one of the cans one third with water. Use this water to rinse out each can passing from one can to the other – okay this is optional!
  10. Chop a large handful of parsley, including stalks.
  11. Add the parsley, bay leaf and fresh thyme to sauce – stir it in.
  12. Add about a teaspoon of dried basil to the sauce.
  13. Add a teaspoon of salt to the sauce.
  14. Add a good grinding of pepper.
  15. Add 1/4 teaspoon of crushed chillies.
  16. Add a teaspoon of sugar – this offsets the acidity of the tomatoes.
  17. Add a glass of red wine or a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
  18. Cook on a very low heat with the lid off for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.

Written by SOKNH

December 9, 2009 at 11:57

Posted in Recipes, Sauces