Wednesday, 15 October 2014

This is such an easy thing to make, I almost daren't call it a recipe. I'm pretty sure it came up on an old Jamie Olive repeat, or something similar, but it's been a total game changer in my weeknight dinner repertoire. To make tomato sauce, I used to finely chop onions and garlic and simmer for ages with chopped tomatoes and a bit of white wine vinegar, but this way is not only far easier, but tastes better too, with an intensely rich tomato-y-ness (that's a word), subtle sweetness and lovely thick texture.

To make enough for 2:
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A few basil leaves
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Olive oil

Just four ingredients, my friends! Gently fry the garlic in olive oil with the basil stalks for about a minute (don't burn the garlic), add the chopped tomatoes, bring to the boil and then simmer for as long as you like. THAT'S IT. If you're in a hurry, ten minutes at a gentle simmer is fine, but if you have things to do around the house - a quick shower, a bit of dusting, last night's washing up (guilty) - then leave it to bubble away and steam up your kitchen with the most delicious aroma. FYI, put this on just before you have friends over and they will think they've walked into an Italian nonna's house.

I like to make a big batch of this on a Sunday afternoon to pop in the fridge for ad hoc suppers and packed lunches throughout the week. Also, the more garlic the better! Add chilli for a bit of a kick, or meaty herbs like rosemary and thyme for an added layer of warmth.

Serving suggestions:
Stir through cooked quinoa and add some vegetables for tomorrow's packed lunch
Pour over courgette noodles for a super low-cal meal (perfect if you're doing the 5:2 diet)
MEATBALLS! (recipe coming soon)
Spread over a tortilla wrap with some cheese for a speedy quesadilla

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