Ultimate tomato sauce

Ultimate tomato sauce
  • Serves icon Makes 3.5 litres
  • Time icon Takes about 1½ hours to make

Our ultimate homemade version of tomato sauce can be used as the base of lots of great dishes to fill your freezer with. Try pasta quattro stagioni, sausage and bean casserole and Spanish cod and chorizo stew.


  • 5kg ripe vine tomatoes, halved
  • 250ml olive oil, plus 8 tbsp for drizzling
  • 6 shallots, finely sliced
  • Head of garlic, cloves separated and finely sliced
  • 2 red chillies, halved and deseeded
  • 4 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Place the tomatoes in 2 or 3 large roasting tins and drizzle with 8 tbsp of olive oil. Season well with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes until really softened.
  2. Meanwhile, gently heat 250ml olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots, garlic and chillies and fry over a very low heat for 10 minutes until softened. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Sieve the oil into a jug and discard the solids.
  3. Pour the infused oil into a large saucepan and set over a medium heat. Crush the tomatoes with the back of a fork and add to the oil. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar and caster sugar and simmer for a further 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick, rich sauce. Check the seasoning and remove from the heat.
  4. Divide the Ultimate tomato sauce into 3 equal portions and once cooled, use to make the following 3 dishes for the freezer. Alternatively, freeze the tomato sauce in 3 portions to make the following 3 dishes at a later date.

You can use this ultimate tomato sauce to make the following recipes:

Pasta quattro stagioni

Sausage and bean casserole

Spanish cod and chorizo stew


delicious. tips

  1. The garlic, onion and chillies are left to infuse in the oil, then discarded. If the solids are left in the sauce when frozen, the flavours intensify, resulting in an overly strong flavour.


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Read what others say...

  1. I love this recipe because it is the basis for an infinite number of recipes. So simple and easy to make yet it is at the heart of countless delicious meals.

  2. I love this recipe. It is the basis for an infinite number of recipes. So simple and easy to make yet it is at the heart of countless delicious meals.

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