Keep this tasty stand-by dish in your freezer. It’ll come to your rescue when you receive unexpected guests or don’t have time to cook from scratch.
Makes: about 1 litre (enough for 8 servings)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
• 60ml olive oil
• 2 onions, chopped
• 2 sticks celery, chopped
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 4 cans plum tomatoes
• 2 bay leaves
• 5ml dried origanum
• 10ml dried basil
• 5ml sugar
• small handful fresh basil, shredded
1 Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and celery and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute.
2 Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, dried herbs and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3 Remove the bay leaves and stir in the fresh basil. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Freeze in batches or pour into sterilised bottles and seal.
• Add a little Mexican or Moroccan spice and freshly chopped coriander to make a base for chicken dishes.
• To create a vegetarian stew, add chickpeas and diced vegetables to the sauce and simmer until tender. Serve with couscous or rice.
• Add one or more of the following ingredients to vary the flavour of the sauce: chopped chilli, red wine, olives, chopped green pepper, basil pesto, roasted vegetables, sliced artichokes, diced and fried brinjal, chopped bacon, grated Parmesan or crumbled feta or blue cheese.