This is a recipe I use all the time, at home and at One Devonshire Gardens. It’s basically a rich tomato sauce which is so simple to make. It is baked in the oven for a long period which removes any excess water from the tomatoes leaving you with a rich, deeper flavour of the tomatoes. I have used tinned chopped tomatoes here – you can also use a mix of fresh and tinned if you wish.

Tomato fondue

Serves 8+


4 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

2 x white onions (sliced)

4 x cloves garlic (sliced)

Fresh basil (to taste)

Vegetable oil



Pre-heat oven to 180c/Gas mark 4.

In a large oven-proof pan heat the oil and slowly sweat off the onions and garlic. Season with a little salt. Once the onions are soft add your chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and bring the tomato mix to a high heat.

Cover the pan with foil and wrap tightly. Place this in the oven on the bottom shelf and forget about it for around two hours. After this time, if you remove the foil you should see that all the liquid has evaporated and you are left with just the tomato pulp. If there is any liquid still in the pan continue to cook for an extra 30 minutes or so.

There will be a burnt edge around the pan but this is normal. Transfer all of the pulp to a blender ensuring not to catch the burnt part. Blend this with your fresh basil and push through a fine sieve. If you find the flavour a little tarte, just add a small amount of sugar and vinegar to balance it out. You now have a tomato sauce to serve with your pasta, meatballs, a pizza base – anything you wish.

Gary Townsend is head chef at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin, Glasgow. See