This is a good standard tomato sauce to use on pasta or in vegetable gratin dishes and the like.
75 ml (5 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 x 400g (14 ounce) cans Italian crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp Italian tomato concentrate
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
1 Put the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, set it over a medium heat and drop in the garlic. Sauté the garlic until it turns a pale biscuit colour. Carefully tip in the tomatoes, add tomato concentrate (UK tomato purée), some black pepper and ½ teaspoon of salt. Rinse the tomato cans with a little water (a frugal Italian trick, making sure nothing is wasted!), using about ½ cup water in total, and add the water to the pan of sauce.
2 Bring the sauce to the boil, lower the heat, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is pulpy.
If using whole canned tomatoes, tip them into a bowl, flick out as many seeds as possible and squelch with the hands to turn them into a lumpy purée.
The sauce will keep covered and refrigerated for 3-4 days, or it can be frozen.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com