Want the most terrific tomato sauce recipe? Here it is. The perfect recipe to use up all those tomatoes you have grown in your garden.

To make your own tomato sauce, you need:

1.5kg tomatoes

3 large white onions

50ml olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons tomato puree

3 bay leaves

150ml water

2 tablespoons sugar

Sprigs of fresh thyme and oregano and fresh whole bay leaves.

How to make your own tomato sauce:

First, sterilise your jars: This is one of the most crucial steps to successful preserving and you should never cut corners with this one. If you don’t do this properly you might find your preserved goods become mouldy and ferments sooner than expected. Preheat the oven to 100C. Wash the jars in hot soapy water; do not dry them with a tea towel. Place the damp jars and lids on a clean baking tray; try not to touch the jars and lids on the insides. Place them in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

Let the jars cool slightly before you scoop in the cooked product. Never pour cold liquid in to hot glass jars, you will end up with broken glass. Take extra care when sterilising the jars, if they are overheated they might explode.

To make the sauce: Wash tomatoes and cut them in half. Crush garlic and roughly dice the peeled onions. Heat a large saucepan with the oil and saute the onion, crushed garlic, bay leaves and seasoning until golden brown. Add the tomato puree and sugar and cook for 3 minutes, add the prepared tomatoes and water. Bring the tomatoes to the boil, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Place a food mill over a clean saucepan and pass tomato sauce through it, discard the skins and bring sauce back to the boil. Divide the fresh sprigs of herbs between the jars, then pour sauce into the sterilised glass jars or bottles, seal and cool.

I actually love homemade tomato sauce with the seeds and skin. A true grunty kiwi homemade tomato sauce. So feel free to omit the sieve/food mill stage

This tomato sauce recipe makes approximately 2L.

Serves 20

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