Tomato sauce

This is my recipe for a versatile tomato sauce (not of the Ketchup variety) that can be used for Lasagne, Bolognese, Meatballs, and Pizza or as a dipping sauce, try pureeing and serving with my Brazilian cheese breads for a tasty snack.


  • 1 shallot
  • 1 red chilli (de-seeded)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 500ml passata
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ½ cup of red wine
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Handful of chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil


  • Add a good splash of olive oil to a large saucepan or ceramic casserole dish and heat until the oil is hot.
  • Finely chop the shallot and red chilli and add to the pan.
  • Turn the heat down and gently sauté until the shallot has softened.
  • Add the tomato puree and combine with the oil in the pan.
  • Add the red wine (I am not a red wine connoisseur so generally use whichever I get my hands on, but from online research Chianti is recommended).
  • Let the mixture simmer gently and once the red wine starts to cook out, add the passata.
  • At this point turn up the heat slightly and add the oregano, salt, pepper and sugar.
  • Cover and let the mixture boil gently, if you are making a Bolognese sauce, add one beef stock cube for a meatier taste.
  • Allow the sauce to cook for around 20 minutes and add the basil.
  • Turn down the heat and stir the basil through the sauce.
  • At this stage taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if required.
  • For a stronger tomato flavour, add a little tomato puree. If the sauce tastes sharp – add a pinch of sugar and for a richer flavour – a pinch of oregano or salt will add intensity.
  • Let the sauce simmer for a further five to ten minutes. The longer it cooks the richer and deeper the flavour will be.
  • Then serve as a simple pasta or Bolognese sauce, pizza base or as a tasty dip.

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