Paul West’s favourite recipes: Tomato sauce
4kg of ripe tomatoes,quartered and eye removed
2 brown onions, diced
8 cloves of garlic
2 cups of apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of black peppercorns
1 tsp of coriander seeds
2 cups of raw sugar
½ tbsp of salt
Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic together in a large saucepan, then turn it onto a medium heat. While the tomatoes are cooking, combine the vinegar, mustard seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds in a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil and then turn the heat off. Allow the spices to stand in the vinegar while the tomatoes cook.
Cook the tomatoes for around half an hour, being sure to stir occasionally. Everything should be nice and soft. Run the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds. If you don’t have a food mill, blitz it up in a food processor and then pass it through a fine sieve.
Quickly clean the saucepan and then put the strained tomatoes back in, along with the sugar and salt. Strain the vinegar, discarding the spices, and then add it to the sauce. Heat the sauce over a very low heat for at least two hours or until it reaches a pleasing consistency.
Check the seasoning. You want a balance of sweet and tangy with hint of salt. If you’re happy, transfer the sauce to two 500ml sterilised jars, wipe the rims and seal. Left like this, the sauce can be left in the fridge for up to a month. For a sauce that can be stored in the pantry for up to two years, the jars will need to be heat treated. You’ll need a saucepan deep enough to immerse the jars, place a tea towel on the bottom, then place the jars on top and fill the saucepan with water.
Bring to the boil and continue boiling for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat, wait until the jars are cool enough to handle and remove them from the water. Wipe dry and store someplace cool and out of direct sunlight.
Recipe and Photography Paul West