A good sauce goes a long way to making a mediocre meal into a gastronomic delight. Whilst store bought sauces in jars and cans are convenient and cheap, they are also loaded with sugar and preservatives. Here I provide a few simple sauces that are easy to make, even easier to store and delicious to eat.
With all of the sauces here, an air-tight, sterilised jar will keep leftovers fresh for at least a week.
This sauce is super simple to make and serves as a starting point for many other popular sauces. This sauce is made by using flour and butter to make a roux before adding milk and then bringing to a soft boil in order tothicken.
- Make sure the roux is combined and cooked before you add the milk.
- Use milk straight from the fridge – the colder the better.
- Add the milk to the roux in thirds.
Once you have made the white sauce base, you can add your favourite cheeses in order to turn it into cheese sauce, cracked peppercorns to make a peppercorn sauce or freshly chopped parsley to make a sauce perfect for fish.
Perfect for pasta, pesto adds a fresh shot of flavour to otherwise limp offerings. You only need a small food processor to make it, and it can be whizzed up in seconds. For a traditional pesto, combine fresh basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts and hard cheese. It does not need to be heated before being added to freshly cooked pasta. It also works well spread on thick bread or melted with mozzarella on pizza. You can also make a ‘red’ version by swapping out the basil for roasted red pepper and sundried tomatoes. Adding a little chilli or chilli oil can also add an ‘adult’ kick that will leave your guests licking their lips and asking for seconds.
- Cut the storks from the basil leaves in order to avoid any unexpected crunch.
- Using a basil infused olive oil will help to deepen the flavour.
- Roast your own pine nuts for an even more luxurious taste.
Roasted tomato and red pepper sauce
This sauce lends itself well to pasta, the meat layer in lasagne and even pizza.
Start by roasting the tomatoes and peppers in a hot oven. Once soft, transfer the peppers and tomatoes into a blender. Add some fresh basil, a can of organic passata and wither some ricotta or mascarpone cheesebefore blending into a creamy and thick sauce. There is also the option to add a fresh chilli to heat things up a little.
- Strain the passata in order to remove any excess water
- Dried herbs can be used in place of fresh herbs.
- Add roasted garlic and onions to make a heartier and thicker sauce.
These sauce’s always prove to go down well with my hungry family, and I hope yours love them too.