Two Hour Tomato Sauce

I have been promising people this sauce recipe for what feels like forever…so here it is, just in time for the Easter holidays!  It is my go-to tomato sauce recipe, the backbone of ‘mum’s spaghetti’ in our house and also great on pizzas, in lasagnes, and anything else that requires a kick of tangy tomato goodness.

This quantity makes a big batch of sauce, enough to dress 1kg of spaghetti.  That’s good for my family of five as we like to have leftovers in the fridge (my teenagers will fry up batches of leftover spaghetti at all hours!) but you could store some and use it later in the week for another dish, or freeze it, if that’s too much for you and yours.

  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • large pinch chilli flakes
  • 6 tins good quality plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 supermarket packs fresh basil, leaves removed from stalks and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  When hot, add the chopped garlic and sizzle for 30 seconds or so (don’t burn it) then add the dried oregano and chilli flakes and stir to combine.  When they are sizzling too, put in the tinned tomatoes and mix gently.

Bring the tomatoes to the boil, stirring occasionally.  Try not to break up the tomatoes during cooking, you will do that at the end.  Once they are boiling turn the heat down to the lowest setting and simmer for – you guessed it – two hours.  Gently stir the sauce every now and then to stop it from sticking.

When your sauce is looking nice and reduced, take it off the heat and add the red wine vinegar.  Mix in the vinegar, vigorously breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.  Then add the basil, salt and pepper and mix again.

If I am using the sauce to dress pasta, I like to add a swirl of peppery virgin olive oil at the end as it does add to the flavour, but I prefer a less oily sauce if I am going to use it for pizzas or other dishes, so I’ll leave that up to you.  Enjoy!  This is a very simple sauce to make and kids love it.

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