5 ways with tomato sauce 

If you only teach your kids to cook one thing, let it be a homemade, tomato sauce. I sleep much better at night knowing I have some ferreted away in the freezer for the inevitable day when I don’t have time to cook anything for dinner. 

A good tomato sauce allows you to up the ante with the veg by throwing in loads of whatever you have lurking around in the veg drawer of your fridge (unless it’s 12 month old chocolate bars like my mother has in her veg drawer!). In my tomato sauce today, made mostly by the 10 year old, I added carrots and loads of spinach as well as onions and tomatoes. You could add broccoli, peppers, courgette or whatever else you fancy. Here’s a simple recipe from Jamie Oliver to get you started.

In addition to being a powerhouse of veg, a tomato sauce is so versatile - I really can’t live without it. It would definitely be one of the things on my desert island list! I’ve put together a short list of what I use my tomato sauce for but I know there are lots of people out there who have other great uses for theirs, so please do share!

  1. pizza sauce - need I say more? Of course I do! At least with your own veggie-packed tomato sauce, you know they are in fact getting some nutrition on their pizza, especially if they’d tear their eyes out rather than put a vegetable topping on!

  2. tomato soup. If your sauce is quite thick - just add some stock et voila - la soupe. A meal in itself!

  3. bolognese - you just need to brown your meat and throw your sauce on top and dinner is ready in a jiffy. I always add in extra veggies of course, counting on the fact that the kids won’t realise there’s veg in the sauce and might accidentally eat some of the added broccoli or peas too!

  4. pizza scrolls - a great lunchbox option. Pizza scrolls: Roll wholemeal pizza dough, spread with tomato sauce and some chopped vegetables, top with grated cheese – roll up like a Swiss roll. Slice into individual scrolls and bake in the oven - easy peasy!

  5. prawn pasta - this is a great go-to option if I have some prawns in the freezer. In fact I made the same thing with a tin of Shine’s Irish tuna today or you could use chicken or leave it veggie! Boil pasta, heat sauce, add prawns and peas, mix and serve. Dinner in a hurry! I love to top mine with rocket leaves a la Jamie Oliver - the kids not so much!

What’s your favourite thing to use tomato sauce for? I’m always looking for new ideas!