• 20g flour
  • 20g butter
  • 300ml cold milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated cheddar to taste, if you wanted to make a cheese sauce


  1. Melt the butter over a low heat in a saucepan. When it is melted, sprinkle in the flour and stir. 
  2. This will form a small floury ball or floury breadcrumbs, which should be golden in colour because of the butter.

    admittedly, the early stages of cheese sauce aren’t very attractive. But it’s worth it to create a deliciously smooth end-product!
  3. To ensure the sauce doesn’t become lumpy, it is important to add the milk at a steady pace. Adding milk little by little, and whisking consistently with a balloon whisk, will make the floury ball at first become more compact. As more milk is added, it will begin to loosen in consistency, and turn into a sauce.

    as the milk is added the floury ball absorbs the liquid – the ball shape will gradually become ‘looser’
  4. Thus, add the milk gradually – continue to stir, until it has reached a desired thickness. Season the sauce. This white sauce can be used as it is in lasagne; add fresh parsley, and it can be used as an accompaniment to fish.
  5. If you wish to make a cheese sauce, maintain a low heat and add grated cheddar to taste. Stir continuously as the cheese melts. This will prevent a lumpy sauce! This type of sauce is a great base for any pasta dish, such as macaroni cheese, or for something like cauliflower cheese.

    eventually, it will resemble what it is supposed to – a sauce!




  • 2 tins of peeled plum tomatoes
  • A small red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Dried herbs – either basil, thyme or oregano
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Finely slice the onion and garlic cloves, and fry over a medium heat in a generous amount of olive oil until they begin to soften.
  2. As the garlic and onion soften, add the tinned tomatoes and stir. Add a lid to the pan, and reduce to a low simmer. Simmer the sauce for around an hour, until it has reduced in volume and thickened in consistency.
  3. Stir the sauce again, this time gently pushing the plum tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon against the sides of the saucepan to break their shape. Then, add either half a tablespoon of balsamic or red wine vinegar. Add a sprinkling of your chosen dried herb, and season. Continue to cook gently for a further half an hour, to allow the flavours to infuse.

    adding vinegar to the sauce gives a depth of flavour; richness that makes it just as good as shop-bought!
  4. The tomato sauce is now ready to use – some recipes advocate either blending it for a smoother consistency, or pushing it through a sieve to remove any ‘bits’ of onion/garlic/tomato, whilst retaining their flavours. It is up to you!

One thought on “basic sauces

Food for Thought...

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