The tomato sauce recipe every good cook needs to know – Lawrence Murphy

Every cook should know how to make a good basic tomato sauce.

By Lawrence Murphy
Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 8:23 pm
Tomato sauce with roast cod
Tomato sauce with roast cod

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that, when ripe, fresh tomatoes are best for this sauce.

It can be tossed into pasta with a little olive oil or you can whisk butter into it for a silky smooth fish sauce. 

Make it in bulk as it’s good to freeze.

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150g vine tomatoes, chopped

100g vine cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic finely, chopped

The white of a small leek, finely chopped

1 stick celery, chopped

Small bunch thyme tied with string

1 bay leaf

100ml white wine

250ml water

Tbsp olive oil


1. Heat a large saucepan on a medium heat and add the olive oil.

2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 mins without colouring.

3. Add the leek, celery, and a pinch of salt and cook for another 2 mins.

4. Now add the tomatoes, white wine, water and herbs.

5. Bring to the simmer and put a lid on the pan. Cook for 20 mins.

6. Leave the pan on the heat and remove the lid. 

7. Cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat to reduce.

8. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender but leave it coarse.

9. Push the sauce through a very fine sieve.

10. You should get about 400ml of sauce which you can reheat.

11. Serve with roast cod.