This is a gorgeously herby tomato sauce with an Italian swagger. It cooks slowly down then is blended well (using a blender) or coarsely (with an immersion blender), and the sauce can be frozen. It pairs delightfully with cheeses like fontina, can serve as a fresh chutney, used as a spread in layered sandwiches and toasties, and of course serves as a sauce as well.
It was my daughter who first pointed out how good this recipe is. It has been in use in our household since 1998. That is how good it is!
Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Tomato recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Sauce recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.
I have a few “go to” tomato recipes that I make and freeze for the winter months. This recipe is one of them, Tomato Paste is another, and I like freezing tomatoes whole, to throw into dishes as they cook. I also make Spiced Tomato Puree, and Tomato and Chilli Jam. We have a splendidly tomato-ey winter.
Saute in a large pan:
3 Tblspn olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
4 – 6 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 Tblspn chopped fresh basil
1 tspn chopped fresh oregano
2 dried bay leaves or 5 fresh leaves
2 tspn salt
1 tspn fresh thyme
When onions are clear and very soft, add:
1 kg fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 – 4 Tblspn tomato paste (optional)
2 Tblspn red wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tblspn jaggery or brown sugar
Simmer until thick, approx. 45 – 60 minutes.
I often find myself eating this herby sauce with fontina cheese. A beautiful pairing.