Thursday, 26 April 2012

Homemade tomato sauce for babies, toddlers and the whole family

It is my right to revisit posts of yore, especially when I've changed the cooking method.  This is my recipe for a basic tomato sauce which is great for loads of uses.  When I blogged about this before, I wasn't spending as much time on my posts and it's a long way back.  I was also really lazy and rarely took pictures (not that my pictures here are fabulous.  Photographing a sauce is tricky.)  I also wanted to review, for my own benefit as much as anyone, just how many ways I use this sauce and in how many recipes (I know it's a lot).








Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce - makes loads but freezes well

Ingredients

4 tins of tomatoes (or use a pack of passata and some tomatoes)
1-2 onions (optional)
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 carrots, chopped up finely
2 red orange or yellow peppers (capsicums), frozen ones are fine
A sprig of rosemary

Method

Bung all of the ingredients into the slow cooker.


Put on high and let it bubble away for a good few hours, think a good 4-6 (remember a slow cooker only uses as much energy as a lightbulb).  Towards the end of cooking, if liked, use a spoon to prop the lid up slightly to let out some steam, this helps to thicken the sauce.



Puree the sauce in a blender.  Freezes fantastically.



Be assured that the quantities and combinations are up to you.  No onions?  Miss them out.  Fancy more garlic?  Stick it in.  Want something more spanish?  Why not use some paprika?  It's up to you although I would say it's a great idea to have this as a fairly simple "base" and add flavouring when you cook.

How can you use it?  Here's my list of ways:

1.  As a simple tomato sauce with pasta.  Just heat it up, mix it in to cooked pasta and add cheese if liked.  Great for babies just starting on finger foods (lovely and messy!)

2.  Extend that pasta possibility by adding prawns or tuna.

3.  Thin it down and make a tasty soup

4.  Chicken pasta bake

5.  Alternatively mix it with cooked bacon and cooked chilli for pasta amitriciana.

6.  Pizza, just make sure you make the sauce good and thick.

7.  Vegetarian Lasagne

8.  Meatballs (although I should say I might review this recipe soon, that batch does not look like my best.)

9.  Prawn pasta bake

10.  Prawn stew


10 comments:

  1. I always made my own baby food. That was 31 years ago. This looks terrific! Hopping over from Judy's creative Monday.Hugs!

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    1. Well this isn't just for babies. I started making something like this long before my son was born! Think of it as a much cheaper version of Ragu or Dolmio (and much better in my humble opinion!)

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  2. I prefer to cook my sauces, I don't like those which are sold in supermarkets! ;)

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    1. Me too. Although it's probably one of the processed foods with little additives, here is a list of the ingredients on a well known brand:

      Tomatoes (80%), Tomato Paste (11%), Onions (2%), Sugar, Modified Maize Starch, Olive Oil (1%), Salt, Basil, Garlic, Herbs, Parsley, Citric Acid, Spices.

      Now my sauce has absolutely no need for sugar, starch or citric acid and it's fat free. There's nothing nasty in the above ingredients but if you make my sauce then not only do you include more types of vegetables, it's also free from the extras you just don't need.

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  3. Hiya,

    I just found your blog and looking at recipes for my shopping list! I just wondered how you would cook this if you dont have a slow cooker. I presume simmer away on the hob but for how long do you think?

    Thanks!

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    1. Might sound odd but when you have the oven on for another reason, I'd sling all the ingredients into a baking dish or two and then bake it stirring a few times. The benefit would be you get some browning (= flavour) and also the sauce will be thicker.

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  4. Hello! What do you mean by tins for the 4 tins of tomatos. I'm new to cooking and want to try this recipe. Thank you! This looks yummy!

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    1. Hi Shilo, I'm not sure where you are in the world but in the UK, tinned tomatoes come in 400g tins or cans.

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  5. In the states. They are sold as 16 ounces or 28 ounces. So 1600 grams? Will find a conversion ;)

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  6. Ok found a conversion so 1-400 gram tin is close to 1 -16 ounce can. Thank you! Going to make this tomorrow for my little one. Looks delicious!

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