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.
I have a few of “go to” tomato recipes that I make and freeze for the winter months. This 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. And just for luck, I throw some tomatoes through the juicer and freeze the juice. We have a splendidly tomato-ey winter. I love that this recipe is part of our tomato-y stash.
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!
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.