An excellent basic tomato sauce can be made from fresh tomatoes throughout the year, but the price of fresh tomatoes in the winter may make it a bit of a luxury. If you make a sauce out of canned tomatoes you will achieve a very predictable flavour whatever you add to it. The same applies to tomato paste or purée. They all have their uses, but can be over-used in the kitchen. The recipe for basic tomato sauce has many variations.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients over a low heat. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool, then put through a sieve. Discard the vegetable debris and reheat the liquid. If the resulting sauce, after sieving, is too thin, reduce a little by raising the heat and removing the lid. This also applies to all the variations.
© 1986 Colin Spencer. All rights reserved.