This is a useful sort of tomato sauce that can used for a multitude of things. I mainly use it to make spaghetti bolognase but it can also be used on its own or as a pizza base. It keeps in the fridge for about a week and it is easily freezable. The best thing about this recipe is that it's total cost is about €1.50 which to me makes it ideal as something to make at the end of the month when money can be a bit tight.
As usual, the first thing to get out of the way is the endless chopping. Chop the onion and as finely as you can and roughly chop up the garlic. This is also a good time to open the tins of tomatoes so that they're ready to go when you need them.
Put the olive oil into saucepan and heat it up gently on a medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and gently heat for about a minute.
Lower the heat on the hob and add the tomato puree, stir through and let it cook with the onions and garlic for another minute.
Add the chili flakes and herbs and again let it cook for about a minute. At this stage the onions should be getting nice and soft.
Time to add the tinned tomatoes. I like to use the whole peeled plum tomatoes from Lidl, but you can use any type you like. Once the tomatoes are in the pot, allow the liquid to heat up a little and then blend mixture until it is smooth.
Next add the sugar. You need approximately 1 tsp of sugar for each tin of tomatoes that you use. But do taste the mixture after you add each spoon of sugar, it shouldn't get too sweet, but should just take off the metal like after taste. The mixture is also quite watery at this point and should be reduced so that it becomes thicker and more flavoursome. Turn up the heat on the hob until the mixture starts to boil then turn it down to a simmer and leave for about 10 - 15 mins stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce has thickened, season with salt and black pepper. You'll find that the salt really brings out the flavour of the tomatoes. You can then add the red wine if you are using it. I find that about half a glass adds a nice flavour without overpowering the other flavours.
That's it! A very simple, but delicious tomato sauce that you can use for so many dishes as well as just on its own. It is especially good if, while it is still hot, you put in some pieces of fresh mozzarella and serve with pasta just as the cheese gets stringy. Please do let me know how you get on and what you used the tomato sauce for.