Annie Bell's Really Useful Fresh Tomato Sauce

An authentically fresh base for many classic pasta dishes, this keeps well...and lives up to its name.


1. Place the tomatoes in a pan, cover and cook over a low heat for 20-30 minutes until they collapse, pressing them down after 5-10 minutes of cooking to release some of the juices.
2. Pass through a sieve or a mouli-legumes and return to the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer very gently, uncovered, for another 60 minutes until thickened.
3. The sauce can be used as the basis for many pasta dishes, including the ravioli gratin pictured. Any not used immediately will keep well for a week in the fridge or can be frozen.


Caster Sugar 1 level tsp
Sea Salt 1 heaped tsp
Plum Tomatoes, Halved 1.6kg
Unsalted Butter 100g
Olive Oil 4tbsp

Hints 'n' Tips

FOR RAVIOLI GRATIN Have ready half a quantity of the really useful fresh tomato sauce. Cook and drain 600g fresh bought ravioli. Heat the grill. Add the hot tomato sauce to the hot drained ravioli and toss. Tip everything into a 30cm oval gratin or other shallow ovenproof dish. Scatter over 100g freshly grated parmesan and 2 tbsp oregano leaves, drizzle over
1-2 tbsp olive oil and place under the grill for several minutes until golden and sizzling.


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