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miscellaneous | Scarlett's secret tomato sauce

Serves 4-6

This is absolutely fantastic, although it's quite simple. It's based on a sauce which Ced uses and it took me about 3 years to prize it out of him! You can add it to lots of dishes: soups, stews, bakes, pastas. To me, it's the equivalent of the Indian 'gravy' that is made and added to dishes to give it that intense, extra special flavour. And it makes a big difference to a dish. If I’ve been running short of some of the ingredients, it has still worked without the basil and wine. And it freezes beautifully.

Wheat free, dairy free, nut free, meat free version...



  1. De-skin and deseed the tomatoes and chop roughly.
  2. Sauté the shallots until golden.
  3. Add the carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring well.
  5. Add the water, wine and shredded basil and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes.
  6. Blend.

Maybe serve with...

This is great just used as a sauce with wheat-free pasta. You can add some more shredded basil, sun dried and/or cherry tomatoes and pine nuts, with a good twist of black pepper. It's also great in the cheat's lasagna instead of the cheese sauce. You can also add a few tbsps into the pepper paprikash, the mushroom provençal, the cannelloni, the flat roof cottage pie and Italian beef stew.

For those able to eat dairy ...

Add some parmesan or cheese when cooking with pasta and the sauce.

For those able to eat meat...

You could add bacon strips into the beginning of the recipe if you wish. Or make a pasta bake and stir in some lovely ham or cured meats.

If you have tomatoes, shallots and celery and leftover, see bean chilli, aubergine caponata, flat roof cottage pie, inside out cannelloni, Italian beef stew.

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