I pre – cut all ingredients, combining the salt/herbs/chives/leek/shallot/garlic/chilli/vegetable stock  in a small bowl, capsicums in another, mushrooms and spinach are left draining in the strainer.


Cooking time:

3 -5 hours depending on stove top heat used. (You can add corn/maize flour to thicken after a couple of hours if you want to reduce the cooking time, but the flavours are altered).



2 tablespoons oil

Salt to taste

5 cloves garlic, crushed

½ leek, chopped (leeks aren’t as pungent as onions and I find they are gentler on the stomach)

1 shallot, chopped

¼ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon rosemary

½ teaspoon basil

ⁱ⁄₈ teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons chives

2 capsicum (yellows, oranges and greens add a colour contrast to the red of the sauce)

2 x 400gm tins diced tomatoes

  • (or 1 tin diced tomatoes and 5 large ripe tomatoes – Romas are best)

400mls red wine

1200mls water (for a richer sauce again, substitute some of the water for additional wine)


  • In stew pot place the oil and heat pan (I use scanpan ceramic cookware and love it)
  • Add the salt, garlic, leek, shallot, oregano, rosemary, basil, chilli powder, vegetable stock, thyme, chives. Combine and sauté.
  • Add the capsicum and combine.
  • Add the spinach aand combine.
  • Add the red wine and water and mix with other ingredients.
  • Cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Reduce, place lid so as steam can escape. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid has reduced by at least half. This will take a few hours (the longer the better), but it will be worth the effort as the flavours of the ingredients combine.


After three hours have passed, whether you want a thick sauce – or one with plenty of liquid -determines how much longer you leave it simmering away. Bear in mind, that the longer you leave it, the better the sauce is.

Once cooled and placed in the fridge, the sauce will last 2 – 3 weeks, maybe more.



Pasta meals, on pizza bases, in tacos and wraps, add to meat meals, on toast and so forth.



  • This is a no meat sauce, as adding meat shortens its lifespan.
  • Whilst the sauce is simmering away, I make this a full -on cooking day: bread, scones, muesli, Anzac biscuits, yoghurt, stewed fruit, rum slice, meat patties, and the like.


  • Want more vegetables?
    • For additional flavour add 500 – 800 grams mixed variety of mushrooms
    • Want more greens? Add 400 – 800 grams of spinach
      • (as with mushies, I love spinach, so the more the better. It’s also rich in calcium)


  • Want meat?
    • Herbed sausages assist in making a richer sauce. Slice and cook in frying pan – no additional oil required.
    • Whilst sausages cooking boil pasta or gnocchi, then drain.
    • Add tomato pasta sauce to the sausages and heat.
    • Add the pasta or gnocchi and mix through.
    • Serve with a sprinkling of grated cheese