And here it is: the reason why you’ll never to have to buy a jar of pasta sauce again!
I tend to spend a wet Sunday afternoon making a huge pot of this for freezing. It’s a great stand-by for the day when you haven’t the time or the inclination to cook..
A fairly large saucepan
2 large onions, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or crushed
one small mild green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
One heaped dessertspoon of dried oregano/Italian herbs/ fresh basil – whatever you have.
A beef stock cube – optional
1/2 a glass of red wine
A tin of chopped tomatoes ( I also throw in a few fresh, deseeded, chopped tomatoes if I have them)
A jar of passata, or another tin of tomatoes.
One dessertspoon of sun dried tomato paste
Salt and pepper
A drizzle of oil
- Put the saucepan onto a fairly high heat, heat the oil then add the onions and chilli. Immediately add half a cup of water and cover the pan. Allow the onions to sweat and cook, but not brown.
- Add the minced beef, and the stock cube if you’re using it. Break up the minced beef and stir it around until it starts to brown. Keep it moving all the time.
- Add the wine and allow it to reduce down
- Add the garlic and herbs and stir in. Reduce the heat to medium
- Add the tin of tomatoes, the passata and the sun-dried tomato paste
- Mix well, and adjust the seasoning.
- Bring to simmering point, then turn down the heat and allow it to sit there for as long as possible before using.
- Really low fat mince is not as good as slightly fatty mince, as the fat helps to thicken the sauce, and adds flavour. However, if you’re watching the calories, it works perfectly well.
- If you have time, leave the pot to simmer on as low a heat as you can manage, then switch it off, and allow to sit overnight.
- This sauce is ideal for Spaghetti Bolognaise, as the meat sauce in lasagne, or as fillings for cannelloni etc. When I’m making lasagne I just reduce the sauce a little, so that it’s not too runny.
- The chilli is not there to add heat, but to give a depth to the sauce – try it and see how you like it!