Tomato sauce

In this video, Andrea makes a simple tomato sauce that you can use right away or freeze for later. It's a great option to have in your freezer when you don't feel like cooking but still want a hot meal.

If you'd like to see the ingredients or download a highly accessible version of this recipe, you can do that here.


Andrea: Hello my name's Andrea. I'm a qualified nutritionist and chef working at Greenwich Pantry, a food business that teaches cookery skills.

In this video, I'll show you how to make a tomato sauce. It's a sauce you can cook ahead of time and freeze and just heat up when you need it.

You can use it for a simple pasta dish or use it to make something more involved like lasagna.

It's one of those useful things to have in your freezer for when you don't really feel like cooking.

Joining me today is Ashley from the Stroke Association.

Ashley: Hello

Andrea: The preparation for this recipe will probably take between 10 to 15 minutes. We will be cooking this on the hob today for about an hour.

If you're using a slow cooker, the cooking time will be between four to eight hours.

As you can see in front of me I have an onion, garlic, some brown sugar, tomatoes, oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, chilli flakes and also basil and some tomato puree.

Ashley: And the ingredients will be listed in the video description below.

Andrea: We will be using a saucepan, knives, measuring spoons, a spoon for stirring and the tin opener to open our tin.

Like to get started?

Ashley: Yeah, let's go.

Andrea: Would you like to do the garlic?

Ashley: I can do that.

Andrea: And I'm going to do the onion.

Ashley: And how many cloves of garlic did you want?

Andrea: It all depends how much garlic you like in your food. It's up to you, it's up to everyone's individual taste.

Ashley: We'll start with two and see how we go.

Andrea: Okay. I'm cutting my onion again using the bridge method to stop it from rolling.

Ashley: We had some questions during the planning stages of this project and people were asking us about getting fatigued while chopping. Is there anything you can recommend for that?

Andrea: You could prepare your onion, garlic the day before or a few hours before. And then go and have a rest if standing takes it out of you.

You can do this recipe in stages so if standing for a long time makes you tired, take a rest after you've chopped your onion and your garlic.


Ashley: Now I notice you have left the ends on that onion. Can you tell me a bit about why?

Andrea: It keeps it together.

Ashley: Oh that's a good trick.

Andrea: Okay so it just helps chop the onion up so you not having to handle the onion too much. Because onions tend to make people cry.

Ashley: Very true.

Andrea: So the less you handle it,

Ashley: The less crying.

Andrea: Yes less crying. And that's it

Ashley: Great.

Andrea: Let's get cooking so, I am going to measure my oil first.

Ashley: Okay.

Andrea: So if I could borrow the measuring spoons...

Ashley: And can I ask why you're measuring? I normally just pour straight in.

Andrea: If you have to reduce the amount of oil you're using, if you just pour the oil in, you won't know how much you're using.

And people that have done that in the past have told me they've only used a little bit of oil.

So I said to them get your measuring spoon and scoop it out. See how much you're using and they've been amazed to find out they've used about four or five tablespoons of oil when they thought they've only got a small little amount.

This recipe calls the two tablespoons full of oil but if you feel that you're using too much because you've measured it you can reduce it.

Ashley: Yeah

Andrea: So I'm warming my oil. To find out when it's ready to put your ingredients in and it's sizzling, just take a little bit of your ingredient, just put it in there and wait for it to sizzle. And you know that the oil's ready.

Ashley: Oh that's a good idea.

Andrea: All right, that's starting to sizzle. So what we can now do is add our onions. Put your onions in first because garlic tends to burn if you put in too quickly.

Ashley: Okay.

Andrea: Just put your onions in first. And just cook them off until they become a little bit transparent. Turn this down a bit.

Would you like to add your garlic in, Ashley?

Ashley: Yep.

Andrea: And just cook that off a little bit more. Then you can start adding your other ingredients. So balsamic vinegar, we're going to measure.

And this recipe calls for half a teaspoonful. It's nice to have these measuring spoons because it's got in all the different sizes for you.

And now for the sugar, we're going to measure that as well. Again that's only half a teaspoonful and I'm going to do a level one.

And we're going to put basil in okay you can measure this or you can put it in freely. I'm going to use my hand.

Ashley: Now does it matter how much of this you add?

Andrea: No again it's about taste. It's the salt and the fat and the sugar that you've got to be really careful with.

Ashley: Oh okay.

Andrea: You could use fresh basil but you would need to add it at the end of your cooking because it's a soft herb.

Then I'm gonna add my tomatoes, my tinned tomatoes so that's one tin. Do you notice that I loaded it into the pot?

Ashley: I did.

Andrea: Because if I do it from here it'll splash in my face?

Ashley: I have done that myself before so that's a good tip.

Andrea: Let's turn the cooker back up again. And this recipe also calls for tomato puree, just give it a bit more taste. It's supposed to be a tomato sauce so we want to give it a tomato taste.

Ashley: A bit more of a tomato, yeah. And will that also thicken it a little bit?

Andrea: This will thicken it and because it's just concentrated tomatoes you could put more than two tablespoons, it's up to you.

Ashley: So we don't have to worry about the salt or oil content of that one?

Andrea: No. This tends to be just tomatoes nothing else added to it. But read your labels just to make sure.

Give that a stir.

And to give it that traditional Italian flavour, oregano. Again you can measure it or you could put it in freely, it's all about taste and flavour.

Ashley: Now I notice you've not put any salt in this.

Andrea: No, the reason I haven't put any salt in it is because we've added lots of herbs to give it flavour.

Also salt isn't very good for you if you've had a stroke, so we're trying to reduce the amount of salt that we're using.

Another ingredient I suggest you could use is chilli. Now I would measure this.

Ashley: Just to be sure.

Andrea: Because, as you know, chilli's really hot. Start off with I would only use quarter of a spoon. If you want more, you can always add more.

You can leave it like this or you can blend it and make it smoother, it's up to you.

Ashley: Just about personal preference.

Andrea: It is personal preference and if you want to go further you could put a splash of water in this, as well. Especially if you've got in a slow cooker.

Ashley: It may need a little extra?

Andrea: Exactly. But it's actually but it's quite a thick and tasty sauce. Do you wanna have a look?

Ashley: Yeah. Oh it smells wonderful. It looks good, it smells wonderful.

Andrea: So we can just put the lid back on that and let it simmer.

Ashley: And how long will that cook?

Andrea: Not long, 15-20 minutes and it'd be ready.

Ashley: Fantastic.

Andrea: So Ashley, we've cooked our tomato sauce. We usually have it with pasta or in a lasagna but we're going to have it with gnocchi today.

Ashley: Great.

Andrea: So it's nice and hot.

Ashley: And if you were going to take this out of the freezer or out of the fridge, after you cooked it you could just heat it up and do this for a lunch one day?

Andrea: Exactly it's a really quick easy flavourful and cheap.

Ashley: Ticks all the boxes. That looks wonderful. Should we try it?

Andrea: Let's. That's nice.

Ashley. That's really nice. Oh just a little hint of chilli, that's really good.

Let us know in the comments if you've tried this recipe for yourself or if you have any questions.

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Thanks for watching.

Just gonna try a little more.