Multi-purpose tomato sauce
Makes about 700ml
Using a knife, make a cross on the skins of 1.5kg ripe tomatoes. Plunge them into boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove the skins when cooled enough to handle. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Heat 6 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook 1 finely chopped onion for 4-5 minutes until soft but not browned. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cook for one minute longer. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until reduced to your preferred consistency. Stir in 1 handful of chopped fresh basil and some salt and pepper to taste.
Easy pico de gallo
In a bowl, combine 3 chopped ripe tomatoes, ½ a finely chopped onion, 1 deseeded and finely chopped green chilli, the juice of 1 lime, 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander. Stir to combine well and season to taste. Serve with chicken, fish, steak, tacos or as a dip for tortilla chips.
Baked stuffed tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/gas mark 5. Slice the tops from 8 ripe tomatoes and use a teaspoon to scoop out the centre of each tomato. Season with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish. In a small bowl, combine 120g breadcrumbs, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tbsp each of chopped fresh parsley and basil, ½ tsp dried thyme and 30g grated Parmesan. Divide between the hollows in the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden-brown and the tomatoes are soft. Allow to cool slightly before serving.