A saucy post today…


Tomato Sauce (ketchup) and Hot Chili Sauce, and a few tips for bottling…

My kids drown everything I make in tomato sauce (ketchup). I make awesome roast potatoes, seriously, they are fantastic, and what is the first thing that happens to them? Tomato sauce. Argh!

I’ve wanted to make my own for a long time, at least this way, I know exactly what is in it. I’ve looked at recipes, many included fresh tomatoes, apples and onions. They sounded beautiful, but realistically, my kids want to eat the commercial tasting sauce (I know, I know), and it’s winter here, so coming across fresh tomatoes is an expensive exercise.

Last night, I thought, enough is enough. I vaguely remembered some recipes used tomato paste, white vinegar, sugar and salt. So tonight, that’s all I used...

My Tomato Sauce (ketchup)

I didn’t measure my tomato paste in cup measures, because I didn’t want to waste any of it, as I only had a little bit left. So I emptied the jar into the saucepan, and weighed it.


260g Tomato Sauce (I used no added salt variety. Ingredient was 100% tomato concentrate)

3/4 cup white vinegar

2, 1/2 tbs coconut sugar

1/4 tsp ground cloves


Put all ingredients into a saucepan and stir to combine.

Bring to the simmer over gentle heat and reduce mixture down to desired consistency (mine took about 5 mins)

That’s it! Makes you wonder why you haven’t made it before hey?? My girls had it tonight (surprise, surprise!) and they didn’t even notice the difference!

tomato sauce


Hot Chili Sauce

This sauce came about because in Autumn I was handed loads of homegrown chili’s from both my parents and my in laws, and seeing as we aren’t really chili eaters, I thought I’d preserve them as a sauce. Here is the recipe I used, that even my brother in law who is a mad chili eater (fresh, dry, sauce- everything!) loves this sauce and always asks for it when he comes over. It isn’t crazy hot, but it certainly has a bite to it! Obviously, depending on how many chili’s or which variety would alter the heat levels 🙂


3 large red capsicums (sweet)

400g hot chili’s (honestly, I didn’t weigh the chili’s, but at a guess it was probably between 300-500g)

8-10 small tomatoes (could use tinned/bottled tomatoes if fresh weren’t available)

1 tbs crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup raw sugar (you could substitute this for coconut or rapadura sugar, or if you had it on hand, applesauce or even grated fresh apples)

Dash of olive oil



Over a gas knob on the stove, or barbeque, or just in the oven, put the whole capsicum to char the outside. Once quite black on the outside, peel as best as you can the skin off. Cut it oven – flesh should be softened. Discard the stem and inside seeds.

In a food processor, add the capsicum, tomatoes (I took out the stem, and put the rest in, skin on), chili’s (stem removed, and some seeds if you want it less hot),  Process until desired consistency. Mine wasn’t very smooth, but all bits were very small. Set aside.

In a heavy based pot, sauté garlic in the olive oil, until fragrant. Add processed ingredients and vinegar and sugar. Season with salt.

Bring to the boil and reduce heat to allow mixture to simmer and reduce down to a runny paste.

It’s that simple! Now just to bottle it up…

note: the photo at the top of the page shows the tomato sauce and two different batches of chili sauce. The top smaller jar was all red long chili’s and the bottom jar was a mix of long green and red chili’s.


And now a bit about bottling…

I’m no expert when it comes to bottling and preserving. But this summer just passed, I did do a little bit of preserving, and this is how I sealed my jars, without any special equipment.

Firstly, wash in warm soapy water your bottles or jars you intend to use. Make sure they don’t still have a smell to them, as this can spoil your food that you are trying to preserve.

Once washed and rinsed clean, you can sterilize them in boiled water (like you would a baby’s bottle).

Fill your jar with your sauce/jam and gently tap the base of the jar on the bench (maybe on a tea towel so that you don’t crack the jars!) to help bring the bubbles in the sauce to the surface.

Screw on the lid, but don’t give it that extra tight twist at the end. Place the jars lid side up in a large pot of cool water, making sure the water covers the lids. When you put them in, you will see bubbles of air starting to escape from the jars. Over a very low heat, bring the pot to the boil (without the lid on), and let it simmer until the air bubbles stop coming out. Using tongs, I have carefully tipped the jars slightly to help air escape from the sides.

Once all the air bubbles are out, take the pot off the heat and prepare a space next to the pot, with a tea towel laid out so that you can put the hot, wet jars down on it. This is the tricky bit – getting the jars out. They will be super hot and slippery. You can buy special tongs for this job, but I don’t have any, so I use normal tongs, and a tea towel to ‘catch’ the jars as I pull them out. Take your time doing this, as it is very easy to burn yourself! Leave the jars to cool, and as they do, you will hear little ‘pops’ as the jars seal themselves tight, and ‘air bubble’ on the lid will be down.

Sorry for the essay, but hopefully some of this makes sense!

Marianne x

2 thoughts on “A saucy post today…

  1. He he! Though I am ashamed to admit it, in my family I am the one who is the tomato sauce fan and my daughter has taken after me 🙂 Thanks for the recipe – I will definitely give it a go!

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