Italian red sauce

Italian red sauce

Feel Good Food
2 cups
Chris Chen

This is a traditional red sauce that one of my cooking teachers was kind enough to share. I’ve added and subtracted ingredients to create my own flavour. You can use it as a pasta sauce or for the base of a pizza. If you find that it is a little watery, bring the puréed sauce to the boil and thicken it with 1 teaspoon of kuzu or arrowroot dissolved in 1 teaspoon water. If you’re in the mood, make lots and freeze it for up to one month or refrigerate for up to three days.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 carrot, chopped
200g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
50g beetroot, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon umeboshi paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons basil leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for 3–4 minutes, or until softened. Add the carrot, pumpkin, beetroot and celery with just enough water to cover the vegetables (use vegetable stock if you prefer), and season lightly with sea salt. Add the bay leaf, cover, and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and the sauce has reduced.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Discard the bay leaf and transfer the sauce ingredients to a food processor. Process to make a smooth purée. Return the sauce to a clean saucepan, adjust the seasoning by adding the umeboshi paste and freshly ground black pepper. Add the basil and stir in the remaining oil. Serve warm.
low fat
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