I initially started my “clean eating” journey when I went on a whim a couple of months ago and tried to go sugar free. One of the first things I discovered, to my surprise, was that if you haven’t made it yourself, it probably has refined sugar in, and pasta sauces are one of the worst culprits for this.
For example, all of the Dolmio pasta sauces all have sugar in them. Amazingly even the creamy white lasagne ones do too. So do the Loyd Grossman ones, which actually have loads of sugar in, 4.8g grams of sugar in 100g of sauce. That’s all your recommended daily sugar intake (for an adult woman) in less than a third of a jar of pasta sauce. No thanks, Loyd SUGARMAN.
I’ve not checked them all and I’m sure there’s loads of brands that don’t (and please comment if you know any good, sugar free, jar pasta sauces!) but for me; both my life and my eyesight is too short for scrutinising labels so I gave up and started making my own, in big batches, which I later freeze and ultimately forget about.
I also like my pasta sauces thick and creamy and gloopy so took inspiration from an Angela Liddon recipe and added cashew butter. She soaks cashews from scratch but I’ve found the ready made butter from the jar is just as good – it adds a very subtle nutty flavour and does wonderful, wonderful things to the consistency of the sauce. I’m not vegan and eat cheese until the cows come home but I do enjoy having a really rich, creamy pasta sauce that doesn’t mean essentially drinking a litre of cream.
Also a mini chopper (like this Kenwood one) makes this recipe really hassle free. The key is when making sauces (my very limited culinary experience tells me) is to chop your ingredients really tiny super small which is fairly difficult (I end up with really inconsistent sizes) and time consuming otherwise.
- 350g plum tomatoes (or cherry, I just find the small ones sweeter)
- 2 medium size shallots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 400g passata
- handful fresh chopped basil
- dried oregano
- 4x tablespoons of cashew butter
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4x tablespoons of olive oil
- organic stock (I used kello vegetable stock)
Cook the shallots, garlic, herbs and tomatoes in the olive oil until soft. Add the passata and stock and cook on a medium heat until thickened. Take off the heat and stir in the cashew butter. Serve immediately or leave to cool and freeze.