Can you believe Christmas is only 9 weeks away? I swear it was 12 weeks then I blinked and 3 weeks had disappeared. Every year I say I’ll be organised and not even have to think about presents cause they’ll all be planned out, wrapped and ready before the sleigh bells start to jingle in the distance. Last year I was pretty prepared. It was the first year I decided to try my hand at making gifts and it has become something I really enjoy. I don’t know about you (or the receivers of my gifts) but when someone gives me a gift that they made themselves I am truly touched. Not that I’m not grateful to be given any gift at all but to think that someone actually made me something with their own two hands is really special. This tomato pasta sauce recipe is a fantastic gift for anyone who likes to eat. It cam be used in so many ways. Last night we had it over plain pasta and it was delicious but I would also use it in things like chicken parmigiana or eggplant parmigiana. There’s not a lot of work involved, it just takes a few house to simmer away on the stove.
It looks like there are a lot of ingredients in this sauce but I actually worked out that it’s very economical to make. I used basil and oregano from the garden but everything else was store-bought.
Start by heating the oil and butter in a large saucepan until the butter has melted.
Add the capsicum, onion and garlic to the pan and cook until it softens. It takes about 7 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and passata and stir it through.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix them in.
Bring the pot to the boil then reduce it to a simmer. Simmer it for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally until it thickens and reaches a rich red colour.
Here it is after one hour.
Here it is after two hours. It had thickened a lot and is nice and rich.
After 3 hours, transfer the sauce to sterilised jars, place the lids on top and stand the jars upside down to cool. Placing them upside down helps to seal them properly. I use recycled jars for my sauce and buy new lids. To sterilise them, place them so they are completely submerged in a pot of water. Bring it to the boil and boil the jars and lids for at least 10 minutes. Transfer them to a tea towel upside down to dry. Alternatively, the sauce can be frozen.
Label the jars and top them with a pretty round of fabric.
I didn’t realise until I was editing the photos but the jars look a little like the three wise men! Enjoy!
I was featured on the Frost Bite blog today. Frost Bite is a book full of freezer-friendly recipes.