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Real tomato sauce

This will seem very obvious to many home cooks but it occurred to me this weekend that I don’t make my own tomato sauce often enough.
I was cooking a cataplana and was just about to reach in the cupboard for a tin of chopped tomatoes when I remembered we had a big bag of tomatoes in the fridge that needed using up.
The difference in taste that a good tomato sauce can make compared to the tinned stuff is quite remarkable: from an Italian meat sauce to dishes like cataplana and so many other Portuguese dishes and, of course, in its purest form, as a sauce in itself with fresh basil and pasta.
I read once that a good tomato sauce should be cooked long and slow to really develop the flavour and I usually cook it myself for two to three hours. And it’s so simple – just drop the tomatoes whole into boiling water to loosen and split the skins, then take them out and peel.
Then give them a quick whizz in a food processor and into the pan.
Some recipes call for adding garlic, onions and herbs but I prefer to keep it to only tomato and add my other flavours into whatever I am cooking. And whatever is not used up straight away can be frozen and used another day.
By PATRICK STUART [email protected]