You are going to love this recipe for our basic tomato pasta sauce, also known as Sugo!
We love it when we can cook once and eat twice…or in this case…five or six times!!
This recipe is so versatile, it can be used as a base for a variety of dishes (keep posted for ideas on how to use your sugo) or for a simple Pasta Asciutta.
We like to keep a jar in the pantry for those those last minute meals. The Sugo will keep for months on the shelf, with no need for freezing…defrosting etc.
You will need:
4 x 750ml bottles Passata (tomato puree)
2 large brown onions, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
Handful fresh basil, chopped
How to prepare:
Gently sauté the onions in the olive oil. Do not allow them to brown.
Add the carrot, garlic and bay leaves and continue to cook on a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add the passata, and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for at least one hour. The longer you cook the sauce, the richer the flavour. I know of many Italian Mammas who would not dream of serving Pasta Ascuitta which has not cooked for at least 3 hours. While it is simmering away, prepare your glass jars by washing and sterilising them. (see below)
Before proceeding to the next step….TASTE the sugo. Bear in mind, the salt has not been added, so the flavour may seem a little bland at this stage.
NOTE* We do not add salt to this recipe for two reasons. Firstly, the addition of salt darkens sauce left on the pantry over time. Secondly, using a salted sauce in conjunction with salted foods such as Pancetta or anchovies would render the dish too salty.
You may wish to cook it for a little longer, especially if you are using commercially produced passata.
Once it is ready, add the basil. We add the basil at the end of the cooking to retain the basil’s fresh flavour.
Next step….. PRESERVING!!
When making jam, chutney or sauce preserves, you must STERILISE the jars.
To do this, wash them with hot soapy water. Next, you can either boil them in water for 10+ minutes, or place them in your oven at 160deg for 15+ minutes. I prefer to place them into a cool oven and allow the temperature to rise steadily, preventing the possibility of the glass fracturing from sudden temperature changes.
Once your sugo is ready, keep it simmering gently on the stove whilst you ladle it into the hot sterilised jars. Place the lid on the jars immediately and tighten. You will need to use oven mitts or tea towels to protect your hands.
Leave to cool on your bench top. As the sugo cools down, you will hear the jar lids POP. This guarantees that the jar has been vacuum sealed and the contents preserved.
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