A what of tomatoes?


Any idea what you call a glut of tomatoes? Is there a proper word?  A collective noun? (as Mrs Cooking Plumber would say). We couldn’t find anything on a Google search, although it did come up with this rather lovely quote from Lewis Grizzard – “It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato”.  We couldn’t agree more!

2020 has been an odd year for many reasons, including the weather. Blistering heat one minute, torrential rain and gale force winds the next. Our small polytunnel is just about still standing and we’ve been happily picking handfuls of tomatoes and using them in all our home cooking, from pasta and soup to homemade curry and chilli sauce. It’s been great but even with our healthy appetites, we’ve still got too many. Wasting food is never an option in our house though so I’ve been using this simple tomato sauce recipe for years to make sure they all get used up.

You can use the sauce straightaway or cool it and put it in the freezer to use as the base for a pasta sauce, a curry, a stew, or a hearty soup when the dark nights draw in. Try it out for yourself if you’ve also got a glut. Or a pile. Or a bucketful. Or whatever the proper word is!

Easy Tomato Sauce Recipe

Serves 2          Prep Time 5 mins      Cook Time 30 mins


1 tbsp veg or olive oil

50g onions finely chopped

5g garlic (about 2 cloves) finely chopped

½ tsp ground black pepper 

200g ripe tomatoes chopped into small pieces

1½ tsp sugar (or 1 tbsp honey)

20ml water

2 heaped tbsp tomato puree

1½ tsp Italian herbs (optional) (if you want to make your own, mix 1 tsp each of basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram and rosemary with ½ tsp sage) 

½ tsp salt to taste 


Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic and fry until soft.

Add the black pepper and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, herbs and sugar or honey and stir for 5 minutes.

Add the water and tomato puree. Cover the pan with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add salt to season, if required.

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