Ben Cooper's Marinara Sauce and Tomato/Chilli Chutney

Ben Cooper's Marinara Sauce and Tomato/Chilli Chutney

What is in season in August

Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Damsons, Fennel, French Beans, Garlic, Greengages, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Loganberries, Mangetout, Marrow, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Peas, Peppers, Potatoes, Plums, Pumpkin, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watercress.

ingredients inc tomatoes, chillies and garlic

Marinara sauce

Yields 1 litre approximately


  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and  finely diced
  •  4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • * ½ scotch bonnet chilli, sliced or a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 1 kg ripe red tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 stalk of oregano leaves, picked
  • 6/7 leaves of fresh basil, rough torn
  • 25ml olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
* Scotch bonnet is a very hot chilli hence why I only use half. So choose 
your chilli and quantity wisely. Jalapeno are a good mild alternative for 
this recipe 


  1. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat and warm the oil thoroughly. Add the diced onions and the sliced garlic and sweat for approximately 10 - 12 minutes until soft and translucent, stirring regularly to avoid scorching and colour. 
  2. Add the oregano, torn basil leaves and sliced chilli or chilli flakes. Reduce the heat to low and stir to allow the fresh herbs to wilt.
  3. Add tomato paste and cook off for 3 - 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the wine to deglaze the pot for approximately 3-5 minutes and reduce the wine by half. Be careful not to burn the pan. 
  4. Return the heat to medium low and add the chopped tomatoes and cover with a lid for 15 minutes. Covering will help the tomatoes to sweat and break down more quickly. Uncover and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 1 - 1 ½ hours. 
  5. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to your liking. 
  6. Remove from the heat and using an *immersion blender or in small batches in a liquidiser, blend the sauce until all the fibres have blended and the sauce is of a smoother consistency

*  Please be careful when blending hot liquids. I’d recommend you allow the sauce to cool down to room temperature to reduce the risk of scalding



Tomato and Chilli chutney

Yields 500ml approximately ( 2 / 3 jars)


  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly sliced
  • 25g fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • 500g ripe sugardrop cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 250g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 25 ml olive oil


  1. Using a food processor, pulse the garlic, chillies and ginger until roughly chopped. 
  2. Place a large saucepan on a medium heat, warm the oil thoroughly and gently fry the mixture, stirring regularly for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add the mustard and coriander seeds and on a low heat fry for a further 2-3 minutes stirring regularly. 
  4. Place the remaining ingredients - cider vinegar, tomatoes and soft brown sugar into the saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. 
  5. Once the sugar has dissolved, slowly bring to the boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring regularly. 
  6. Place your washed, rinsed and dry jars and lids on a baking tray and heat in the oven at its lowest setting. Turn off the oven when the jars are hot, but leave them inside until you're ready to pot the finished chutney. 
  7. The chutney is ready when it’s glossy, thick and nicely melded together. The ultimate test is to drag a wooden spoon through the pan, if it parts enough to reveal the base of the pan, it’s done. 
  8. Place in sterilised jars and place the screw-top lids on while it’s still warm. 
  9. Allow to cool down fully before using. Chutneys and pickles have at least a year's shelf life. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within four weeks