The Food Gatherer's Note: When you're busy it makes life a lot easier if you can prepare foods ahead in large batches or freeze. A good tomato sauce is the perfect base for easy meals for all the family. Dilute with stock for a soup, add to pasta or rice or combine with spices and meat or prawns for a curry. You can blend in left over veg too and the reluctant veg eater will never know!
SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE (WITH HIDDEN VEG)
1 tsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove chopped into fine slithers
¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 x 400g tins whole plum tomatoes
1 tbsp each caster sugar and balsamic vinegar
Heat the garlic with the oil very gently on a low heat in a heavy based saucepan then add the chilli flakes, onion, celery, carrots and leek until soft (about 20 mins). Add the whole tomatoes and gently stir in being careful not to break the tomatoes (this will make the sauce sweeter). Bring to the boil and simmer for hour. Stir in the vinegar and sugar breaking up the tomatoes. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper.