Friday 30 July 2010


Home-made Healthy Basic Italian Tomato Sauce/Italiensk Tomatsauce/西红柿酱[xī hóng shì jiàng]

Makes 1 L

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

- 1 kg of tomatoes (preferably cherry tomatoes for more flavour)
- 5 stalks celery chopped
- 1 red bell pepper
- ½ stalk of leek (white portion only, finely chopped)
- 2 large onions chopped
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 2 TBS cooking oil
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp paprika powder (optional)
- 2 TBS ground oatmeal (to thicken the sauce)
- Herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary (optional, I use one whole plant each)
- ¼ cup white or red wine (optional)
- ¼ cup of cooked beans (optional)

1. Puree the tomatoes together with the fresh herbs and set aside.

2. Heat cooking oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and fry the garlic until golden.

3. Add leeks, onions and dried herbs and fry until onions turn golden.

4. Add wine to balance the flavour and fry for 1 minute to evaporate the alcohol.

5. Mix some of the puree tomatoes with oatmeal in a separate bowl.

6. Add puree tomato mixture, the oatmeal mixture and salt and stir for a couple of minutes.

7. Add paprika and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

8. Remove from heat and drizzle with olive oil.

9. If you wish to have a smoother texture, puree it in the blender again. Otherwise, it is ready to serve.

1. Serve with pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese for a quick meal for your toddler.

2. Use as base to make pasta meat sauce.

3. Use as base sauce for pizza.

4. Use as base for tomato soup.

Can keep for 5 good days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

Nutritional Value:
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of molybdenum, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, chromium, and vitamin B1. In addition, tomatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, folate, copper, niacin, vitamin B2, magnesium, iron, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, vitamin E and protein. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants.

Tomatoes have been shown to be helpful in reducing the risk of colon and prostate cancer, and reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Tomatoes and broccoli-two vegetables separately recognized for their cancer-fighting capabilities-are even more successful against prostate cancer when working as a team in the daily diet, shows a study published in Cancer Research.

In addition, tomatoes are a very good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels, keep blood sugar levels from getting too high, and help prevent colon cancer. A cup of fresh tomato will provide you with 57.3% of the daily value for vitamin C, plus 22.4% of the DV for vitamin A, and 7.9% of the DV for fiber.

Additional Information:
I am making my own tomato sauce because I enjoy it, and nothing beats the freshness of home-made tomato paste or sauce. Store bought tomato ketchup or pasta sauce also tends to contain additives and preservatives and high in salt. Thus, it is definitely healthier to make my own. But although it is definitely healthier to make my own tomato sauce, it does take time and it is also more expensive than buying a jar or bottle. The ingredients alone cost about 70 DKK or 17 SGD for 1000ml.

In this picture, I actually made 2 litres, and thus I used double the ingredients and double the cost - 140 DKK or 34 SGD. The bulk of the cost actually went to the fresh herbs, so if you want to reduce cost, use less fresh herbs and more dried herbs instead.

For toddlers: I store it in ice-cube tray in the freezer, and take 1 cube out to thaw and pour over home-made pasta for J. I also like to thaw one of the broccoli cubes and add it to J’s pasta. Tomato and broccoli is a good team for promoting good health.

For the family: while making this sauce, if I have pureed red or kidney beans in stock in ice-cube tray, I will throw in a few cubes into the sauce to sneak beans into our diet. I prefer to keep it plain and use it as a base for my pasta, pizza, etc. I then add other meat and vegetables later, depending on what pasta sauce I would like to make.


1 comment:

  1. Hello Elaine,
    Thank you for sharing your recipes and tips on bringing up children. I am just starting to read your blog and it gives me some ideas. My daughter just turned one and your blog is a good guide for me.
    I have a question on the fresh herbs used in this recipe- did you really use a whole plant (not just a few branches) for each of the herbs? Will the sauce be too overpowered and/or bitter?
    Thank you in advance.


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