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Searching for the holy grail tomato pasta sauce recipe

(34 Posts)
sambababy Thu 14-Jun-18 01:52:34

Does anyone here have a recipe for tomato pasta sauce that is simple and amazing? I've tried several and they're always a bit meh, then if I go to a restaurant and have some amazing pasta I always wonder what the secret is!

OP’s posts: |
MVLipwig Thu 14-Jun-18 02:00:57

Most tomato sauces benefit from a tiny bit of sugar, dash of Worcester and hours and hours of cooking. Also if you like it richer and a bit thicker a teaspoon of gravy granules if it’s a meat sauce. Nothing exactly fancy, but tastes good

halfwitpicker Thu 14-Jun-18 02:09:27

I think if you use really good tinned tomatoes it makes a difference. Like £3 per tin or whatever.

pinkgirl1234 Thu 14-Jun-18 02:10:24

I'm the same OP.

I make my own with passata, salt, red pepper flakes, dried oregano and roasted garlic - because those are the flavours I like.

I wouldn't serve it to anyone else though. grin

TERFragetteCity Thu 14-Jun-18 02:11:19

Salt is the secret.

PositivelyPERF Thu 14-Jun-18 02:13:53

Don’t mind if I look 👀 over your shoulder, do you OP? I’m more miss than hit, with my pasta sauces, though the quality of the tinned tomato 🍅 does make a difference. The one thing I love to use, is Kallo tomato and herb stock cubes. They make a big difference to the flavour. You can get them in the health food shops or Tesco.

pinkgirl1234 Thu 14-Jun-18 02:14:06

Oh shit, I forgot the olive oil. Loads of it. But I use the tasteless extra light stuff.

I use loads of salt. Probably too much!

pinkgirl1234 Thu 14-Jun-18 02:17:19

I should say that I'm not one of those dimwits who thinks extra light olive oil has fewer calories. 😂

Eatmycheese Thu 14-Jun-18 02:37:56

This 😋

ChocDee Thu 14-Jun-18 02:54:32

I whizz up a punnet of cherry tomatoes with a couple of cloves of garlic.
Splash of balsamic vinegar and chili to taste.

Sometimes I add whizzed up onion gently fried off first and Worcester Sauce and herbs and shit.

It's easy enough. In the summer I cook up large batches when I have a glut of cherry tomatoes from the garden and freeze them into family portions ready to use for whatever I am cooking throughout the winter.

I do not weave lentils however.

ShamelesslyPlacemarking Thu 14-Jun-18 02:59:03

Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large shallow pan. Heat on med.

Slice a clove or two of garlic paper-thin. Add to the pan once the oil is hot. Fry until the edges are golden (1-2 minutes depending on heat.)

Add chilli flakes if you like chilli and fry for an extra 20 seconds.

Add one tin of decent quality chopped or pureed tomatoes to the pan. Fill the empty tin with cold water to the tin to about halfway up, swirl it around to get any remaining bits of tomato and juice and add it to the pan too.

Season generously with salt and pepper (up to a teaspoon of salt and pepper to suit your tastes.)

Turn the heat right down to low and let it simmer for at least half an hour, and up to an hour. Cooking for this length of time allows the garlic to sweeten and infuse the whole sauce with flavour. Any longer and it will start to dry out too much.

This is the best base recipe for tomato sauce ever. You can add finely chopped onion or mirepoix first and give it five minutes to sweat before putting the garlic in if you like. If the tomatoes are not very flavoursome, you can can add a tablespoon of brown sugar at the same time.

sashh Thu 14-Jun-18 03:39:19

I just use passata. I may add things depending on the recipe but basically I use passata.

1Wanda1 Thu 14-Jun-18 05:01:53

You can do good things with sautéed garlic, tinned tomatoes, a sprinkle of oregano (fresh if you have it but dried is ok) salt pepper and a sprinkle of sugar, simmered down. BUT for a really delicious tomato sauce, you need to use fresh ripe tomatoes.

OliviaStabler Thu 14-Jun-18 05:25:05

Best sauces are made with san marzano tomatoes. Very expensive but they make all the difference.

ImogenTubbs Thu 14-Jun-18 05:32:59

I make it with fresh cherry tomatoes. Start by sautéing an onion then add the tomatoes with some salt and cook gently until they break down. That is my basic tomato sauce recipe and then I add, depending on my mood and the content of my cupboards/fridge:

Sun-dried tomatoes/sun-dried tomatoes paste
Creme fraische or Philadelphia
Various mixed veg, depending on what I'm trying to get DD to eat

Also delicious is very finely sliced courgettes (best done with a mandolin) cooked in olive oil with garlic and then mixed with cream or Philadelphia for a non-tomato sauce.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 14-Jun-18 05:40:16

You need umami. I use anchovies for that but you can use other sources (hence marmite or Worcester sauce).

Good ingredients, simmered for a loooong time. I do onion in oil, sauté down, add garlic, sauté down, add anchovies, add a good tomato purée and 'fry' it. When it smells good, add tomatoes (preferably fresh, very ripe) and simmer for ages. A few green herbs at the end (fresh basil).

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 14-Jun-18 05:40:55

Oh and wine.

Hideandgo Thu 14-Jun-18 05:42:39

Sauté pancetta, garlic, onions, diced carrot and celery. Then add tin tomatoes and cook slowly for a while. Blend to smooth and add cream.

It’s amazing.

Mrsramsayscat Thu 14-Jun-18 05:45:58

Or add a tablespoon of Creme fraiche.

Downeyhouse Thu 14-Jun-18 05:54:20

As taught to me by my ex MIL who was Italian.

Warm up up some olive oil in a solid saucepan.

Chop up 2 red or white onions and at least 2 cloves of garlic and heat gently.

Add in 2 tins of chopped tomotaotes or Passata.

Crumble in 1 or 2 chicken stock cubes.

Add a good dollop of tomatoe purée.

Add in a good handful of chopped fresh sage leaves.

Leave to cook slowly for at least 2 hours. The longer the better.

Downeyhouse Thu 14-Jun-18 05:56:22

Forgot to say add salt and Pepper after the tomatoes.

And if it is too thick add a small glass of water.

Mominatrix Thu 14-Jun-18 06:02:12

Best tomato sauce is Marcella Hazan's basic tomato sauce.

The secret is to very slowly cook the tomatoes with a bit go salt and pepper in a bit of olive oil and an onion cut in half (you fish it out at the end), then add butter at the end.

Simple and delicious.

sambababy Fri 15-Jun-18 02:10:06

Thank you so much for all your replies! I will be giving all of these suggestions a go!

I've not tried making a sauce with fresh tomatoes. Do you just cut them up or do you need to peel or anything?

@MrsTerryPratchett What's umami? blush
@Downeyhouse That's very similar to the recipe I currently use! Maybe your MIL put hers on the BBC website lol. Best one I've tried so far although I've only been simmering it for about 10mins.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Fri 15-Jun-18 02:22:04

You have five tastes that your tongue picks up, all the rest is smell. The five are; sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. It's basically 'savoury'. Think Parmesan, cooked meat, Worcestershire, cooked mushroom, good stock, marmite.

There are some evolutionary reasons why tastes are important. If you think about it, sweet is to make sure fruit is ripe and for calories. We desperately need salt to live. Bitter warns us about food that might not be great for us... umami seems to be about nutrition

Tomatoes have quite a lot so bringing that out makes the sauce better.

Science innit?

SummersB Fri 15-Jun-18 02:25:40

I never thought the quality of tinned tomatoes would make a difference. But I guess it makes sense, as cheap fresh tomatoes also taste like shit!

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