Want something to squirt on your hamburger or steak, but don’t want all the nasty extras that come in commercial tomato sauces? Me too. So I made my own.
75g chopped onion
1 tsp crushed garlic
¼ cup chopped basil leaves
A small red chilli (about 7g), finely chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tbs olive oil
300g ripe tomatoes
1 tbs red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Cut a small cross in the base of each tomato, place them in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over. Leave them to sit while you prepare your other ingredients, then drain them and the skins will be easy to peel off.* Chop the flesh roughly.
Heat a non stick pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Cook onion and garlic, stirring frequently until the onion is transparent. Add the chilli and the spices and stir for a minute or so. Add the chopped tomatoes and red wine vinegar and stir well. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until you have a sauce-like consistency. Remove the lid and simmer for a few minutes to evaporate more liquid if you need to. Add salt to taste.
You can leave this chunky, but after it cooled a bit, I threw mine into the blender and processed it to a finer texture. It’s still pretty chunky, as you can see from the photo. Kind of “rustic”, if you will.
Mine made 200ml, and I use a tablespoon per serve, so this quantity gives me 10 serves. I would have made more, but I only had a few tomatoes on hand…anyway, 10 serves will last me a while; I rarely use tomato sauce but it’s always a good accompaniment to a BBQ-ed hamburger or steak.
*You can omit this step if you like, but you’ll end up with stringy bits of tomato skins in your finished sauce.