If you can make a basic tomato sauce, you will never go hungry! As well as a simple sauce for pasta it can also be used on pizzas and to add oomph to casseroles and soups.


  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced

  • 1 celery stick, finely diced

  • 150ml dry white wine

  • 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 1 tsp tomato puree

  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 plastic storage containers

  • Optional additional flavours

  • Dried chilli flakes

  • Pancetta, fried until crispy


  • 1.

    Heat a pan and add the oil, then stir in the onion, garlic and celery and cook for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Pour in the wine and allow to bubble away, then add the bay leaf, tomato puree, tomatoes, oregano, sugar and season to taste.  At this stage you could also add cooked pancetta or chilli flakes etc as desired.

  • 2.

    Bring the sauce to a simmer, then simmer gently for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is well reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

  • 3.

    When the sauce has cooled, discard the bay leaf and divide between plastic containers. It will keep for a few days in the fridge or is easily frozen.

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