This is the rough template I tend to use when making up a (tomato based) pasta sauce.
On it’s own it’s great over pasta, or in a lasagne. I’ve even had it on toast for breakfast.
As with all sauces, it gets better with age. If you can cook it the day before, and put it in the refrigerator and re-heat then it’s great.
Quantities are generally indicative but based on what I actually used just recently. Feel free to add other vegetables that you have (olives, mushrooms, etc) – it’s a good way to use up what’s in your fridge. Don’t be put off by the the amount of olive oil indicated – it gives it a good body, and as the sauce cooks the oil will be absorbed.
Vegetable Pasta Sauce
- 2 Brown Onions, Peeled & finely chopped
- 8 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 Carrots, Grated
- 1 Zucchini, Grated
- 1 Cup (approx) of grated/finely chopped celery
- 8 Tomatoes, Peeled – Chop roughly to break up.
- 1 Jar Pureed Tomato (Approx 600ml)
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- Dried Italian Herbs to taste:
- Bay Leaf
- 2 Massel Chicken-Flavoured Stock Cubes (NB: Contains no meat product)
- Peeled tomatoes can come from a can, or fresh.
- Pureed Tomato could be replaced with approx 6 tablespoons of Tomato Paste Concentrate.
- Add a tablespoon of the oil to a very large frypan (with lid), or large pot on medium heat.
Test the temperature of the oil by placing a wooden spoon into the oil – it should sizzle.
- Add the onions.
Sautee/Fry until softened (but not brown) – stir frequently.
- Clear a small space in the middle of the pan and Add garlic
Allow to cook for a minute.
- Add grated carrot, zucchini, and celery
Continue to sautee until softened (approx 10 minutes). Stir frequently.
You may need to place a lid on the pan if the vegetable begins to dry out.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining oil.
Increase heat to high, and cook with lid off for 15 minutes on high – stir frequently.
- Test consistency. If sauce is very thick, add water.
Reduce heat to medium, and add lid. Cook for at least 30 minutes. Stir regularly (every 10 minutes or so).
- You could serve now.
Ideally though: Reduce heat to low, and allow to continue to cook with lid on for several more hours, on a low heat. About 4 hours is ideal. Stir regularly, and monitor consistency – adding water as necessary.
Serve over freshly cooked pasta of your chosen variety. Top with Parmesan Cheese.
- Minced Beef, Lamb, or Pork. Add while frying the onions.
- Bacon. Fry in the pan before adding the onions. Retain the bacon fat, and remove some (or all) of the olive oil.
- Chilli, Fresh or Dried. Add with the herbs.
- Use pasta sauce as the tomato layer in a lasagne.
Cooking Time: 1-4 hours.
Produces: Approximately 2 Litres of Pasta Sauce.