Grilled Tomato Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    250 ml

Appears in

This is a good sauce for perking up starchy root vegetables, and it goes well with polenta too. It doesn’t contain that much pepper, but, together with sea salt and a swirl of butter, a small amount rounds out the other flavours.


  • plum tomatoes 450 g/1 lb
  • garlic cloves 2 large, unpeeled
  • serrano chillies (or other mildly-hot green chillies) 1–2, left whole
  • black peppercorns 1 tsp, crushed
  • sea salt flakes ½ tsp
  • dried oregano ¼ tsp
  • unsalted butter 1 tsp


Preheat the grill to high. Put the tomatoes, garlic and chillies in a grill pan without a rack and place under the hot grill. Turn frequently until the skins blister and start to blacken. The chillies will need about 5 minutes, the garlic 10 minutes and the tomatoes 15–20 minutes.

Peel the garlic and the chillies and remove the seeds from the chillies. Using a mortar and pestle, grind them to a paste with the crushed peppercorns and sea salt flakes.

Put the tomatoes in a food processor, including any blackened bits of skin, and pulse to a purée. Scrape the purée into a saucepan, add the oregano and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat a little, then leave to bubble away until reduced and thickened.

Stir in the garlic-chilli paste and simmer for another minute. Swirl in the butter and check the seasoning.