I’m afraid that in the 1970s I used tomato ketchup and water to make a tomato sauce, but nearly 50 years later I know better. Thomasina Miers showed me how to burn the tomatoes in their skins to give more flavour and this really works. The skins caramelise and give a smoky, sugary flavour to the sauce and when you whizz it up, the black bits don’t show.
Serves 2-4 as a sauce
350 g tomatoes
1 red pepper 100 g
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil 15 g
2 cloves garlic 12 g, crushed
1/2 small onion 70 g
1/2 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
a little sugar, salt and black pepper
Cut the tomatoes in half and deseed and chop the pepper.
Put the oil in a large frying pan and add the tomatoes and pepper pieces.
Heat and fry for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time until the skins begin to blacken.
Remove the tomatoes and pepper and in the juices lightly fry the garlic and onions.
Put the tomatoes, pepper, onion and garlic into the food processor and whizz until smooth.
Season with sugar, salt, pepper and oregano. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Add water, milk or cream to the sauce when it is ready to heat up and use in other dishes.
Skills – knife skills, cooking accurately, tasting, consistency