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Homemade Tomato Ketchup

Tomato ketchup is something in our kitchen that we take it for granted without even thinking we could actually make our own. This recipe will have you ditching shop bought ketchup for a much tastier alternative.

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What you need:

2 kilos of tomatoes, chopped
2 medium sized onions, chopped
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves – or more if you prefer!
1/3 cup of sugar – brown or white
Black pepper and salt
Generous handful of basil leaves

At this point you can add some ingredients to suit your palette: I also use a few large peppers but you can put in chillies or different herbs to spice it up.

Method

Fry up the onions and garlic until they are soft and then add the chopped tomatoes (I add my peppers here too). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce thickens. Add the basil leaves and any other seasoning you’ve decided to use. You need to reduce the sauce so don’t worry if the liquid diminishes a lot in this part but you may need to add a cup of water to stop it burning. You should be stirring the pan frequently.

Next, use the blender to puree the sauce and then comes the messy bit: strain the sauce through a sieve. This can be a little time consuming as you have to push the sauce through to ensure larger bits and tomato pips are not going to be in the sauce.
Place the puree back in a saucepan and add the vinegar and sugar. Taste the ketchup and add more seasoning or sugar according to your preferences. Simmer again and this time you should really see the thickness looking more like the consistency of ketchup. However, it took me quite a while to get to this stage!

Place the hot ketchup into sterilised bottles or jars. If you don’t have these to hand you can also freeze it freezer bags. Once opened, keep refrigerated, and it’ll keep for up to a month. The excess pulp which was strained can be kept for a lovely rich pasta sauce.

The final, and best stage is to try out your ketchup…with anything!