Kay’s Covid Cookery Class No. 1. Leftover tomato sauce.

About 1 week from now, you will realise that the 15 kilos of pasta that you just bought leave you with no space in your cupboard, and all the tomatoes that you inexplicably shoveled into your supermarket trolley are rotting away in your fridge.

Anticipating a visit from your friends, you opened a bottle of wine and, despite your heroic efforts to polish it off all by yourself, there is some left.

If you could just get rid of some of those dried herbs that you never use, you might be able to make space on the rack for just one more roll of toilet paper. (All your bookshelves and clothing drawers already having been filled with loo roll).

Worry not. Here’s the sauce that makes taste and space. (Ingredients and instructions below video.)

6 medium sized tomatoes. Peeled and chopped finely or blended (it’s easier to peel tomatoes if you first drop them into very hot water for a minute until the skins split)

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons of dried basil and 2 teaspoons of dried oregano (or a small handful each of finely chopped, fresh basil and oregano)

tablespoon of tomato puree if you have it (not essential, though)

generous pinch of salt and black pepper.

small glass of red wine.

2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey, or 1 tsp sugar

What to do:

Chop the onion and garlic very finely.

Heat a splash of oil in a saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Turn down the heat, place the lid on the pan and gently fry the onions and garlic until they become soft.

Add the herbs, salt and pepper –  mix it around for a few seconds.

Add the blended or chopped tomatoes and the wine and turn the heat right up again. Stirring all the time, let the sauce boil for 2 or 3 minutes to drive off the alcohol and thicken the sauce. Turn down the heat to a low simmer. Add the puree and sweetener and mix in thoroughly. Cover the pan and simmer very gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with some of your excess pasta and topped with parmesan cheese (what do you mean, you didn’t hoard parmesan cheese?!?!?!?), and/or baked in the oven with lean, meaty fish like cod, halibut, monkfish.

It also freezes well, or keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week.


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