Basic Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian Lasagna and making a basic tomato sauce
The majority of vegetarian lasagna recipes include a tomato component. Each recipe included on is complete and outlines the method for making the type of tomato sauce that is required. However, once you’ve gained confidence with putting a vegetarian lasagna together, it’s great to be able to whip up your own creation in the kitchen, and knowing how to put together a basic tomato sauce is essential for this.

Using fresh tomatoes in Italian cooking
Fresh, ripe tomatoes are always preferable in the tomato sauce for vegetarian lasagna and, when they’re in season, can be quite cheap. However the canned variety is also fine.

Peeling your fresh tomatoes before adding them to your sauce gives a smoother texture, however this is optional. Use the following method for peeling fresh tomatoes:
Using a sharp knife make a cross in each tomato and place in a saucepan. Pour over boiling water until the tomatoes are covered and leave for about 30 seconds. During this time you should be able to see the skins start to peel away. Drain the tomatoes and then peel the rest of the skin off with your fingers or with a knife.

Basic Tomato Sauce
VegeHero Tip:
This sauce is designed for use in vegetarian lasagna, although it’s equally good with other pasta dishes, and can also be used chilled as a dipping sauce.
Serves 4 (makes about 2 cups) 

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried.
2 bay leaves
12-14 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup of stock or water
1 Tbsn chopped fresh herbs

Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onion and cook until softened, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for about a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and stock and stir well. Bring the sauce to a boil then simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until much of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened. Remove the  bay leaves and stir in the chopped herbs. The sauce may be blended in a food processor for a smooth texture, or left as a chunky sauce.