Tomato pasta sauce is something that is make at least one a week in the Skint household. It’s easy to make, as well as the base for a cheap frugal meal.
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One of the staple ingredients in my house is a tin of tomatoes. They are so versatile and can be used in many different dishes, from spaghetti Bolognese to chilli con carne, a tin of tomatoes makes the basic sauce for loads of dishes.
However, I actually quite like to make a tasty tomato sauce to use with pasta, or to make up a few portions to use for other dishes in advance.
The thing is, tomato pasta sauce is so simple and easy to make, it only need one basic ingredient – tomatoes – and the rest are store cupboard essentials.
You can make the sauce up in around 10 minutes so is great for a lunchtime, or you can bulk it up for dinner. We quite often make a batch with pasta for lunches and bulk it up for dinner by adding hidden vegetables (like grated carrots, peppers or mushrooms) and even adding leftover meats like chopped ham, sausage or chicken. My weakness is pasta sauce with meatballs!
When everything else in the fridge is gone, I know that we’ll have enough in the cupboard to make this dish for dinner, without having to go to the shops.
Here’s the recipe of how we make tomato pasta sauce:
1 tin of tomatoes
1 stock cube (we usually use vegetable but when we are running short use anything)
1tsbp tomato puree
1 crushed clove of garlic
1tsp mixed herbs
1small tsp sugar
dash of salt and pepper
Dribble of oil
Add the oil to a pan, quickly fry the garlic.
Mix in all the other ingredients and heat through for around 10 minutes until thickened.
Done – that’s it – really!!
I said it was simple. At the same time, we usually cook some spaghetti, penne or fusili pasta and it’ll all be done around the same time. However, you could use whatever pasta you want. We then just mix the tomato pasta sauce with the spaghetti and serve.
If you’re hiding vegetables in the sauce then just throw them in at the beginning and they’ll cook through.
Why not add a pinch of chilli, a little paprika or a dash of Tabasco sauce if you want to jazz it up?
I haven’t worked the cost out to the penny but this will work out at less than around 50p for the sauce for four people – not bad for a budget meal!
Next time you are in the supermarket, looking at tomato sauce to have with your meatballs, or to add into a Bolognese, have a read on the shelf….
Napolina – £2.10
Lloyd Grossman pasta sauce – £2
Homepride – £1.60
ragu – £1.40
Dolmio – £1
Store’s own – 98p
Why spend that much when you can make your own for a fraction of the price and you know what you’ve put in it?
For other budget recipes check these out: