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Tropical Leaves

Tomato & Chilli Sauce 

'Meat Free Monday' is a campaign to raise awareness about the environmental impacts of eating meat, however there are lots of health benefits in reducing your meat intake too (particularly red & processed meat), including a reduced risk of colon cancer, heart disease and stroke! This recipe is simple & easy, packed full of vegetables and has very little salt & sugar in - something many shop bought sauces have a lot of. Disclaimer - this and all other 'meat free' recipes can be eaten on other days of the week too!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

  • 1 large red onion - sliced

  • 1 and half bell peppers or 4-6 mini sweet peppers (red, yellow or orange work best)

  • 200g cherry tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 

  • 2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs or 1 teaspoon of dried basil & 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

  • Half a teaspoon of dried chilli flakes (or more if you like it spicier!)

  • 500g passata 

  • Salt & pepper for seasoning 

Serving Suggestions

  • 100g tagliatelle per person

  • 30g soft goats cheese

  • Sprinkle of mixed seeds

  • Handful of rocket 


  • Turn the hob onto a medium heat and spray/add the oil to a large frying pan.

  • Once hot, add the onion, peppers and cherry tomatoes and cook until soft. 

  • Add the herbs & chilli flakes and mixed together. 

  • Add the balsamic vinegar - it will become 'caramelised' and gives the sauce a lovely flavour.

  • Once the balsamic vinegar has reduced, add the passata and mixed together. 

  • Season the sauce with the salt & pepper. 

  • Turn onto a low heat & leave to simmer for at least half an hour. The longer you leave it, the more deep & rich the sauce becomes. If the sauce is thicker than you like, add a splash of water to it. 

To make it a balanced meal, aim to include a source of carbohydrate, such as the tagliatelle I have suggested and a source protein - in this case I have chosen the goats cheese & mixed seeds. The sauce can be frozen - so you could always double up the ingredients and freeze half of it, so you have a very easy meal for another night! 

For those with allergies/ intolerances/ dietary exclusions, here are some suggestions on how to adapt the sauce recipe for your requirements*:

  • Low FODMAP diet - Exclude the onion, add in additional vegetables such as another pepper or additional handful of cherry tomatoes and add 1 teaspoon of asafoetida powder to add an onion flavour. Ensure you stick to the suggested portion of balsamic vinegar (for 4 people). 

  • This sauce recipe is suitable for someone with a dairy allergy, lactose intolerance, wheat intolerance or someone who has Coeliac disease. 

*Always check food labels for allergens before using ingredients. 

Tropical Leaves
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