Simple tomato sauce

Meatballs with a simple tomato sauce.
Meatballs with a simple tomato sauce. Photo: Marina Oliphant

There are many meatball-friendly sauces, including this simple tomato one. Cooking the tinned tomatoes in the oven intensifies the flavour. This sauce is also perfect for potato gnocchi.


2 x 400g tins whole peeled tomatoes

80g salted butter

Salt and ground black pepper


Pour tomatoes into a roasting tray and bake in the oven at 160 degrees for about an hour or until the tomatoes are dry on top. Remove tray from oven and crush tomatoes with a potato masher. You don't want to puree them, just break them into even pieces.

In a heavy-based pot, heat the butter until it turns nut brown, then add the tomato - be careful as it may spit a little. Season then simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat; you don't want to overcook it