5 Ways With A Basic Tomato Sauce

Whipping up a batch of our quick and easy homemade tomato sauce will save you hours in the kitchen – one sauce, five dishes! You can freeze this sauce for up to 3 months. Our top tip is freeze in smaller portion sizes, so you do not have to defrost the full amount, you could use freezer bags or airtight freezer containers.

Recipe for a basic tomato sauce for 6 dishes, if you do not have a big enough pot break the recipe down into 3 and cook in 3 batches, this will actually make it easier if you are freezing smaller portions.

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Ingredients:

  • 9 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 x 680g-700g jar of tomato passata
  • 3 tsp sugar, more if needed
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 20- 30 large fresh basil leaves, finely sliced

Instructions:

  1. Place a heavy bottomed medium sized pot over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook just until softened, about 20-30 seconds. Pour in the tomato passata and add the sugar, a generous pinch of salt and grinding of black pepper.
  2. Allow to cook until sauce has thickened and reduced by a quarter or half, depending on how think you want the sauce to be. Taste and add more salt, pepper or sugar as needed, then stir in the fresh basil.
  3. Recipe easily doubled or tripled for a larger batch. Can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. Sauce can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Simply divide sauce into portions and freeze in sealing freezer bags. Defrost overnight in the fridge, or place frozen sauce in a pot and allow to melt over medium low heat, then increase to medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. To thin out sauce, add a small bit of water until it is the consistency you want.

 

Penne Pasta With Tomato Sauce

Serves 4

This is a quick and easy dish for the whole family when you don’t have a lot of time in the kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 500g penne pasta
  • 300ml basic tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp Mascarpone
  • Basil leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan

Instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  2. Once the pasta is cooked, strain and mix through the tomato sauce
  3. Add the Mascarpone and stir through.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Divide into bowls and garnish with basil leaves and grated parmesan.

 

Lasagne

Serves 6

A lasagne is a firm family favourite in many Irish households. This is a great recipe for batch cooking and can be frozen up to 3 months. Make sure to use a freezer friendly container.

Lasange-766x329Ingredients:

  • 750g lean minced beef
  • 2 streaky rashers, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 500ml basic tomato sauce
  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1.5 litres milk
  • 250g lasagne sheets
  • 75g mozzarella, grated
  • 75g parmesan, grated

Instructions:

  1. Fry the mince in 2 batches, browning well. Remove to a plate and fry the bacon and onion for five minutes, until the onions are softened and the bacon is browned. Add the beef back into the pan. Pour in your homemade tomato sauce and heat through
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/375ºF/gas mark 4. Then leave to one side while you make the bechamel sauce.
  3. To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Stir, over a low heat, for about five minutes, until the flour has cooked through. Slowly incorporate the milk, whisking to avoid lumps. Simmer, until the sauce has thickened, and set aside.
  4. Brush the bottom of your lasagne dish with olive oil to avoid the pasta sticking. Place sheets of pasta on the bottom of the dish, follow with a layer of meat sauce, and a layer of bechamel sauce. Repeat until you have used all the sauces and pasta. Top with Cheddar and Parmesan and place in the oven.
  5. Cook for 35-40 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Rest the lasagne for at least fifteen minutes before cutting into pieces and serving with a green, leafy salad.

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 4

Another family favourite and tastes even better when the sauce is homemade. This recipe is freezer friendly and can stay in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Top tip: remember to label the container so you know what it is and when you put in the freezer.Spaghetti Bolognaise

Ingredients:

  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 2 streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 500ml basic tomato sauce
  • Splash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large frying pan and add garlic, streaky bacon and onion and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the beef and brown.
  2. Add homemade tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and simmer for 15 minutes. Once reduced down taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions and serve with bolognese sauce, a scattering of basil leaves and plenty of fresh Parmesan.

 

Homemade Pizza

Serves 4:

A simple but reliable recipe for a fantastic pizza dough that will have the whole family wanting more. Dough can be frozen, simply roll out and place on baking trays, then cover with clingfilm and freeze. Once frozen, you can remove the pizza bases from the trays and stack several bases on top of each other, keeping sheets of clingfilm between each one. Bake from frozen, but add on 5 minutes from the recommended time stated above.

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Ingredients:

  • 250ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 15g dry yeast
  • 350g strong white flour, plus extra (00′ flour works best)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra

Toppings:

  • Basic tomato sauce (pizza sauce)
  • 1 ball Mozzarella
  • Basil

Instructions:

  1. Add the sugar and yeast to the lukewarm water in a small jug and stir until dissolved. Set aside and allow to start foaming, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Create a well in the centre with your hand.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the centre of the well created in the flour along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and start to incorporate the flour into the liquid using a blunt knife to stir from the centre outwards.
  4. Once the ingredients are mostly combined, carry on incorporating the ingredients using clean hands, kneading until there is no dry flour left in the bowl.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth, elastic and is no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Dust the surface with flour as needed.
  6. Place the dough in a clean bowl that has been brushed with olive oil and cover with a clean damp kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm and draught-free area and leave until the dough has doubled in size, between 30-40 minutes depending on the surrounding temperature. A good place for this is in the oven with only the light turned on as the heat from the bulb will warm the oven just enough.
  7. Once doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knock the air out of the dough by kneading it a few times, the dough should be silky soft and not at all sticky.
  8. Divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces, they are now ready to be rolled out, but wrap each portion in oiled pieces of clingfilm and store in the fridge if you won’t be forming the pizzas immediately.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
  10. To form the pizza, use your hands to stretch and shape a dough ball into a thick round disc, then use a heavy rolling pin to roll out the dough on a well floured surface. It’s best to roll the dough from the centre outwards in every direction. Keep lifting the dough and sprinkling more flour on the counter to stop the dough from sticking. The dough will rise as it cooks, so roll it out thinner than you would like it to be once baked.
  11. Quickly slide a floured baking tray under the dough and reshape and stretch out the dough as needed.
  12. Finally, add your desired toppings, starting with the pizza sauce, then bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until crust is golden and crisp.

 

Chicken Parmigiana

Serves 4

This is a gluten free recipe. Chicken fillets coated in a gluten free breadcrumb mix, then lightly fried before finishing off in a delicious classic Italian tomato sauce. The dish is topped off with fresh mozzarella and baked in the oven until bubbling.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100g gluten free breadcrumbs, from about 2-3 slices gf bread
  • 75g fresh parmesan cheese, grated
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 400ml basic tomato sauce
  • 2 large bunches fresh basil, roughly chopped or torn
  • 2 balls fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced

Instructions:

  1. Place halved chicken fillets between 2 sheets parchment paper or clingfilm. Flatten with a mallet or rolling pin. Place beaten eggs in a large shallow dish.
  2. Combine gluten free breadcrumbs with half of the parmesan cheese, place these in another large shallow dish. Dip each flattened chicken fillet in the egg then dip in the breadcrumb mix, making sure fillets are well coated. Set aside on a plate in the fridge.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Drizzle pan with olive oil and fry chicken fillets, two at a time, for 4 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  4. Heat grill to high then pour prepared sauce into an oven-safe dish large enough to comfortably fit chicken fillets. Arrange chicken in dish on top of sauce. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese and arrange mozzarella slices on top.
  5. Place under grill or put into the oven and cook until mozzarella is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from heat and serve with gluten free pasta or a fresh salad.

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