Smoked Tomato Sauce

"The first time I tried this sauce it literally blew my mind. I'd never tasted something with so much punch, depth, heat all at once. I was honoured to be given the recipe by incredible chef Ben Day, and have been making a big batch every summer ever since. It's a bit of a day project but so worth it. Summer is the time as tomatoes are ripe and in abundance. This is such a delicious way to extend summer flavours through the year." Recipe from Katie White's cookbook, The Seasonal Vegan.

Serves 10 jars | Prep time: 1 hr | Cooking time: 2.5 hrs


  • 24 ripe tomatoes
  • 8 red capsicums
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 4-5 chillis
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan red wine or 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 a cup sugar
  • small bunch thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp of salt (and to taste)
  • Basil stalks


  1. In a wood oven or BBQ, light a small fire and bring the temperature here to around 180-200C / 355-395F. Chop all veg into rough cubes and lay on a large baking tray with the olive oil. Cook in the oven or BBQ for 30 minutes.
  2. Now to impart the smoke, lay a medium sized piece of un-treated oak in to catch alight. When it is well and truly alight, close the door or lid to cut the oxygen, killing the fire causing the wood to smoke. The closest door will trap the smoke in helping it to infuse with the veg.
  3. Let the smoke infuse with the door shut for about 1 hour.
  4. Once smoked, transfer the veg to a heavy based pot and add the other sauce ingredients.
  5. Simmer on low, with the lid on for at least 2 hours.
  6. Once it cooked out, turn off the heat and add some fresh basil stalks to infuse, preferably over night (optional).
  7. You can either blend using a stick blender or leave it chunky.
  8. To preserve, pour boiling water into several jars with screw top lids, swirl around and pour out to heat them and sterilise them.
  9. Pour hot sauce into the jars and immediately screw the lid on tight.
  10. You should hear them pop within an hour which means they have sealed properly.
  11. Store in a cool dark place.

Tip: If you don’t have access to a wood fired oven, use a BBQ with a lid. If you can’t source a piece of oak, use a fruit tree pruning, or other un-treated wood.

Note: Recipe makes roughly 10 jars but will vary greatly depending on variety of tomato and cooking temps etc.


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