Matteo’s Tomato Sauce

Matteo’s Tomato Sauce

I got this recipe from Matteo Bragazzi, of Bragazzi’s , Sheffield. It is his grandmother’s recipe, no doubt a family secret ! Grazie, Matteo !

This sauce takes around 6 hours to cook – up to 8 is probably better! This quantity makes enough sauce for a kilo of pasta, so freeze half for another time.

The base for this sauce is a soffrito Ingredients – a mix of raw, very finely chopped vegetables. They are :

300 gm white onion

300 gm celery

300 gm carrots

2 tablespoonfuls butter

2 tablespoonfuls olive oil

2 x 400 gm cans good quality chopped tomatoes (‘Mutti’, ‘Cirio’ or similar)

500 gm good quality passata (‘Mutti’, ‘Cirio’ or similar)

(1 crushed clove of garlic – optional)

Salt and black pepper.

Put the oil and butter in a large pan and heat until the butter has melted and just started to sizzle.

Add the ‘soffrito’ and cook very slowly, stirring occasionally, until gooey and soft. This could take around 30 – 40 minutes or longer.  When you start,  the raw ingredients will almost fill the pan, by the end they will just about cover the bottom of it.

Now add the chopped tomatoes (NOT the passata) add a little salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for about 2 hours, stirring from time to time. Obviously it is important that it doesn’t stick.

If you want to add the garlic, do it at this point.

Next add the passata. Mix it in to the thick, tomato and soffrito mixture and again cook for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Check the seasoning.

Cook 300 – 500 gm of pasta in salted water until ‘al dente’. Drain the pasta but keep back a bit of the cooking water.

When adding the sauce to the cooked pasta, do this in a large, warm serving dish. Add the sauce a couple of spoonfuls at a time, along with a little of the retained cooking water until the pasta is well coated with tomato sauce.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.