This tomato 'base' is a great way to preserve your summer tomato bounty and is sure to become the foundation of your winter recipes from chillis to curries, braises to risottoes and don't forget an easy pasta sauce.
1. Place the tomatoes, garlic, basil (if using) and black pepper into a blender and liquidise. You are able to control the texture of your sauce by pulsing your liquidiser until you reach your desired texture - smooth or chunky according to your preference and intended end use.
2. Heat a large skillet over a moderate heat, add the oil and gently fry the onion until translucent but don't allow to colour. Add to blender and liquidise again.
3. Pour the blender contents back into skillet and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the tomato paste and tomato puree (if using) and stir through. Now gently simmer, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes and reduce until you have your preferred consistency.
4. Pour into sterilsed bottles and/or jars and either freeze or preserve using the water bath method.
5. If you don't have a liquidiser or prefer a seed and skin free sauce (it will be a lovely sweet flavour like this) you could adjust this recipe by omitting the liquidiser and passing your cooked mixture though a sieve or mouli after cooking.