A thrifty dad has revealed how you can make a huge batch of tasty pasta sauce for just 15p per portion – and the best part is that it will last you months.
Al Baker, 48, from Aldershot, Hampshire, previously made headlines after sharing how he lived on yellow sticker bargains after his £300,000 debt forced him into bankruptcy – and saved £10,000 over two years as a result.
Now, the dad-of-two, a former chef, has shared his simple pasta sauce recipe which can help you slash the cash on your food shop bill.
“These days we are all struggling to come up with tasty meals on a budget,” Al told NeedToKnow.Online.
“This type of recipe uses items that you may well already have in the kitchen cupboard, and if not are really cheap to buy, and can be bulked out with whatever you have in the fridge.
“Sometimes simplicity is key to budget cooking – what can be done with leftovers in the fridge, or that dusty tin at the back of the cupboard is amazing!
“This finished sauce is just as good as any bought pasta sauce, and in my opinion tastes far better!”
From bulk buying tomatoes on Amazon to reusing empty glass jars, Al has revealed everything you need to know about his budget-friendly sauce.
On his money saving blog, the Penny Pincher, he first revealed that he bought 6 cans of chopped tomatoes and tomato purée on Amazon, each multipack costing £2.40.
He also purchased four onions for 64p and got a free Simply Cook recipe kit which anyone can get online.
With all of his ingredients ready, Al then shared how to make the sauce.
He said: “I chopped up a couple of onions, added them to the biggest pan I had, and sweated them down with a little vegetable oil, and halfway through I added a heaped tablespoon of dried garlic.
“I then added the contents of a Simply Cook Penne Alla Rustica recipe kit that I got for free.
“Once cooked through, I added all the tins of tomato and passata to the pan, added one can of water, and gave it a good mix for an even distribution of flavourings.
“Once you’ve given it a really good stir, pop on the lid or pop some foil over the top (it will splatter!).
“Allow it to simmer, not rapidly boil, for about 30 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes or so, to ensure nothing sticks and burns on the bottom of the pan.
“It should have a great aroma and will have reduced down by about 2 inches after the 30 minutes is up, and then it’s ready to go!”
With a whopping eight litres of sauce all made and ready to go, Al then shared the best way to store the big batch: “The preservation option I use is canning, canning doesn’t use a can as the name suggests; it uses glass jars.
“You take your glass jars and lids and add them to boiling water for about 10 minutes to ensure that the cans are sterile.
Once your jars are sterile, you then decant your sauce into the jars, leaving about an inch and a half of space between the sauce and the top, and firmly place on the lid.
“When these are all done, you move to the final step, water bathing the jars.
“Pop the jars into a pan containing a rolling water boil and ensure the whole jar is covered.
“Boil for around 30 minutes for a smaller jar and 50 minutes for a larger jar, and then (carefully) remove the jars from the water and allow them to cool.
“Once cooled, you can pop the jars away, and you then have homemade tomato sauce available as needed.”
Describing supermarket sauce as “wallpaper paste”, Al believes making your own not only saves you money, but is also healthier.
He added: “You don’t need loads of ingredients, preservatives and flavourings, the recipe is pretty much the tomato base used in Italy for centuries, and they are known for making a good pasta sauce!”
6x Pack tinned tomatoes = £2.40
6x Pack tomato passata = £2.40
4x Onions = 64p
1x Simply Cook recipe kit = 0p
Dried herbs & oil = 25p
Total ingredient cost = £5.69
45 portions = 13p