Karen Wright: No tinned tomatoes pasta sauce recipe

Well readers, what a week that was! One week in to our new regimes, we will all be looking inwards and thinking up ways to pass the time and stay safe.

By Karen Wright
Thursday, 26th March 2020, 11:48 am
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 11:48 am
Karen's recipes for pasta sauce and gnocchi

I am making sure that I build as much routine into my day as possible. Starting with a good shower and getting dressed into something cheery, just the thought of flopping around in pyjamas makes me feel tired. I am keeping busy throughout the day, maybe an hour of housework, an hour reading, an hour exercise, an hour crafting and so on. I don’t want to do all my odd jobs that have been waiting in one day, just something to tick off the list daily.

Now that we can’t go out to eat perhaps everyone will be keen to do a bit more cooking from scratch. I know it can be difficult getting hold of some ingredients at the moment, like pasta, pasta sauces, tinned tomatoes... so this week I am going to share my spicy pasta sauce recipe. This can be used instead of a jar of pasta sauce and also in recipes that usually require tinned tomatoes. It uses fresh ingredients that are still plentiful in the shops.


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1 red pepper (chopped)

2 small onions red or white (sliced)

6 tomatoes or a small punnet of cherry tomatoes (halved)

3 peeled garlic cloves

Half a chilli pepper

2 tbs tomato puree (if available)

Wine vinegar or balsamic (if available)

Herbs/spices (I like smoked paprika but oregano, rosemary, herbes de Provence are fine)

Salt and pepper

Method: Place all the vegetables on a baking tray and spray/drizzle with oil, scatter the herbs/spices over and roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Place the vegetables into a blender and add the puree, vinegar and add as much water gradually as you need to get the required consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This sauce is a lovely vibrant red colour and a great healthy sauce. I cooked a gammon joint in the sauce last night and it can be used to top a pizza or as a sauce for bolognaise or meatballs, the only limit is your imagination.

If you are struggling to get pasta, why not try making gnocchi? It is so simple and there are many recipes online. It takes just two ingredients - mashed potato and plain flour. I mashed a large baking potato and added about a cup of flour. You just mix it all together to form a dough. Roll it out and cut into small two-centimetre lengths. Boil a pan with salted water and then drop in the gnocchi. In two minutes or so when they float to the top, remove with a slotted spoon and serve with the sauce and some grated cheese. Delicious!

Another feel good thing I have started to do for our evening meal is to make an event of it. I lay the table, pour a glass of wine, put my lippy on and pretend we are dining out, it’s something I really look forward to.

So, readers, chins, upper lips and peckers all upstanding, pin that smile on!

If anyone needs any help with anything or just someone to chat to, please contact me through my contact page on my website http://www.karenwrightbakes.co.uk and I will be delighted to help if I can.


Karen x