“This is my all-time favourite recipe and a great way to get my kids eating vegetables. If you have a couple of fresh rosemary or thyme sprigs lying around, chuck them in too for added flavour. ”
- 2 medium onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 large leek
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250 g closed cup or chestnut mushrooms
- 2 medium courgettes
- 2 medium aubergines
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons tomato purée
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes , or 2 x 500g cartons of passata
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 850 ml organic vegetable stock
- Peel and very roughly chop the onions, garlic and carrots, and trim the leek and celery, then blitz in a food processor until finely chopped (if you want your sauce a little chunkier, coarsely grate them instead, using a box grater).
- Heat the oil in your largest heavy-based pan over a medium heat, then add the onion mixture and fry for 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Finely chop the remaining vegetables (again, coarsely grate, or roughly chop by hand for a chunkier sauce), then add to the pan and fry over a low heat for a further 20 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the oregano, tomato purée and bay leaf, fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour in the chopped tomatoes or passata.
- Add the sugar and vegetable stock (I try to use homemade stock, but if you’ve only got stock cubes, that’s fine too), then cover and let it bubble away over a low heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally – the longer you cook it, the more the flavour will develop as it reduces and thickens.
- When it’s ready, fish out the bay leaf and season to how you like it (it’s important to season the sauce right at the end – it will thicken and intensify in flavour as it cooks, so you might find it’s salty enough already).
- Divide the sauce between freezer-proof containers and leave to cool, then label and pop into the freezer for up to 3 months, to use whenever you like. This is great as a simple pasta sauce or in my lasagne, with simple spaghetti & meatballs or as a tasty base for pizza.
Source: Jamie Oliver