Basic tomato sauce

Basic tomato sauce


  • 1kg tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 strip lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 bouquet garni (A bouquet garni is a bunch of herbs used to flavour soups and sauces. Look for them in the spice aisle of your supermarket, or you can use what you have at home.)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar



  1. Using a sharp knife, cut a small cross at the base of each tomato. Place into a large heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until you can see skins beginning to peel off (don’t leave for too long as tomatoes will begin to cook).
  2. Drain immediately. Peel and discard skin. Remove cores. Finely chop tomatoes.
  3. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes or until soft (don’t allow to brown as this will give your sauce a bitter taste).
  4. Add tomatoes, lemon rind, lemon juice, bouquet garni and sugar.
  5. Bring sauce to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, for 50 minutes, stirring, or until almost all liquid has evaporated and sauce is thick.
  6. Remove lemon rind. Spoon hot sauce into hot sterilised jars. Turn upside down. Stand for 2 minutes. Turn upright.
  7. Cool.
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