Thursday, 8 November 2012

The Meatball Shop's Classic Tomato Sauce Recipe

A few months ago, a lovely friend of mine, Daniela, got engaged to the fantastic Marko.
He timed it perfectly as the girls and I happened to have a cooking extravaganza organised for the next weekend, so how could we not turn it into a surprise engagement soiree.
Nothing fancy, just a picnic with 'The Meatball Shop' meatballs (I went to this place when I was in NY. Amaze!), a tim tam cake, and of course some champagne. What else could you want? The tim tam cake turned out OK. Not amazing but definitely edible. The meatballs on the other hand, we fantastic. Totally munch-able and definitely worth repeating. Check out how many we made!
So with my trip to Hong Kong putting a little strain on the budget, I thought now was a perfect time to bust out the budget friendly meatball and tomato sauce recipe. Today I'm just writing about the tomato sauce recipe, and next week I'll post about the actual meatball recipe. They are technically two different recipes, but having tasted the tomato sauce recipe, I also thought this was a great, stand-alone recipe for fresh tasting, light and lovely tomato sauce that can be used not only with meatballs, but with pasta as well.

The recipe is supposed to cook 7 cups, but I found it only cooked maybe 5 cups. It's so good though, don't be afraid to double it and make spare to store in the fridge.

Note: it takes an hour or so to cook, but something you can put on the stove and just check every once in a while to make sure it's not burning.

1/4 C olive oil (no need to use extra virgin, just plain olive oil is fine)
1 onion
1 bay leaf, fresh if possible
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp of the dried stuff
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 x 400ml tins of tomato whole plum tomatos in their liquid

Start by finely dicing the onion and the 2 cloves of garlic.
You may get your hands a little garlicy, but I'm sure it's good for you. If you have fresh oregano, chop up 1 tsp of that too.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the diced onions and garlic to the pan, as well as the 1 bay leaf, oregano (1 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried) and 2 tsp salt. Cook this concoction until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring often. It should take about 10 mins.
Add in the 2 tbsp tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for a further 5 mins.
Add in the 4 x 400ml tins of tomatoes, liquid and all, and stir constantly until the mixture comes to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 1hrs, stirring every 5 minutes or so to make sure the sauce doesn't stick to the pan.
Taste and touch up the seasoning and you're done. I used some of mine for my meatballs, and saved the rest in a jar in the fridge.
Come back on Monday and I'll share the meatball recipe that I cooked with this.


  1. looks great, cant wait to try it :)

    1. Thanks Eddie! Meatball recipe will be up tomorrow so keep an eye out for it.