Fresh, light, tasty - the attributes of a good tomato base. I’ve tried lots of recipes amongst them those from Jamie Oliver and Rick Stein.

Some use tinned tomatoes that are strained after preparation, others call for bottled strained tomatoes or passata.

I  think fresh tomatoes are simply the best. And preparing them is really quite easy. Do this in bulk and it’s very cost effective. I buy fresh tomatoes when they are on special (last weekend they were $1.99 a kilo at My local Harris Farm) then prepare a batch of sauce. It’s delicious for pizza base, or pasta sauce and it freezes well.

So for about 6 portions of sauce (each of which does 2 or 3 pizzas, or a nice bolognaise or pasta sauce)…

5 kilos of fresh tomatoes
olive oil - 10 tablespoons - or a fullsone few glugs
a large bulb of garlic (yes about a dozen cloves), finely chopped
a large bunch of fresh oregano
6-8 fresh basil leaves (I love basil but find it very strong - it will overpower the oregano imho)
Lots of salt and pepper
(drop quantities proportionally for smaller quantities)

The first step is to bring a big pan of salted hot water to boil.
Blanch the tommys for a few minutes until you see the skins splitting then drop into a sink of cold water.
The skins will be easy to remove when cool.
Then hold the tommy inside your hand and poke your fingertips into the seed cells. Squeeze out the juice and seeds as best you can. This is basically seeds and water - you just want the flesh.
Start the oil and drop in garlic for a minute. Once this has started to brown, drop in the tommy flesh and bring to the boil.
This mix will soften up after a while. I use a potato masher to pulp it up.
Season with salt and pepper and finely chop and add the oregano.
Reduce the whole mix down and intensify the flavour.
I tend to lightly zizz the mix using a soup liquidiser to break up the lumpy bits (you can leave them but they tend to get super hot and hard to deal with when you’re scarfing down a piping hot pizza slice - causing major cheese slides or burnt lips!)
Allow to cool slightly, then use immediately or freeze (it will keep for a few days in the fridge too).

Next, the base!

One Response to “Part 10 - The best tomato base”

  1. I freeze tomato sauce all the time and it tastes excellent even after being froze for a long period of time.

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