As part of the series of ‘how-to‘ guides I’ve been posting on the blog, I decided to include a recipe for my ultimate tomato sauce. This is the kind of recipe that has evolved over years of messing about in the kitchen and I finally think I’ve nailed it (hence the not so humble recipe title.)
The beauty of this sauce is that it can be used in SO many different ways; use it on my cauliflower crust pizza, as a base for some spicy shakshuka or as a sauce to bake some cod in. For a little recipe inspiration I’ve served mine with some zucchini noodles as a carb-free – but equally as delicious – alternative to pasta.
Feeds 4 as a pasta sauce.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil // 1/2 – 1 red chilli (depending on how spicy you like it); finely diced // 2 garlic cloves; minced // 1 large white onion; diced // 2 heaped tbsp tomato puree // 1 400ml tin chopped tomatoes // 5 anchovies // 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar // 1 tsp honey // small handful of basil; roughly chopped
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Saute the garlic and chilli until they become fragrant and the garlic is lightly golden. Next, chuck in the onions and cook them for around 5-10min, so they’re soft and nearly translucent. Add the tomato puree and stir so that it coats the onion and then let it caramelise and darken for a couple of minutes – I’ve found this makes a big difference to the flavour!
Pour in the chopped tomatoes then refill the tin 3/4 of the way with water and add that to the pan too. Once it’s boiling, you can add the remaining ingredients and stir to mix through. The anchovies will melt away leaving a salty goodness that really enhances the flavour of the sauce.
Let the sauce simmer away for an hour, stirring occasionally and adding more water if it becomes too thick.
You can make the zucchini noodles with a spiralizer or a julienne peeler (you’ll need about 1.5 per person.) If you don’t have either to hand, you could always make ‘fettuccine’ style ribbons with a vegetable peeler. To cook, just saute the zucchini with a little olive oil and salt in a pan for about 4-5 min, until they’re a touch soft and warmed through.
This sauce freezes really well so double the batch to store some for next time.
Really liked this. My improvised pasta sauces always taste naff and I hated buying pre-made stuff so I’m glad I found this recipe, I substituted the anchovies for finely cut olives because my OH doesn’t eat fish. He’s not a big fan of tomatoes either so next time I’m having the anchovies and eating it all myself!