Not just ketchup, which we are used to seeing as an accompaniment to fries, is said to have originally been made from fish, and to have nothing to do with tomatoes. But, as is often the case in cooking, the success of a recipe is rooted in contamination: and ketchup, which became 'tomato ketchup' a couple of centuries ago, is no exception. Preparing it at home, and then storing and serving it in the elegant Lock-eat juice jars, is much easier than you might think: once you have experimented with an initial version you can calibrate the spices to create your own very personal recipe.
Jar needed: 1 Lock-eat Juice Jar 0.5 L
350 g tomato puree
100 g blond onion
50 ml red wine vinegar
50 g brown sugar
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon flour (optional)
extra-virgin olive oil to taste
1 fresh bay leaf
sweet paprika (or hot for a stronger taste)
salt to taste
Slice the onion and fry it in a little oil with the garlic, without letting it brown, for a couple of minutes.
Remove the garlic and add the tomato puree; leave to cook for a few minutes and then add the sugar, vinegar, salt, bay leaf and a pinch of each of the spices, dosing them according to taste: consider that the sauce will reduce in cooking, and the flavours will concentrate.
Continue cooking for an hour and a half on a very low heat, then blend with an immersion blender and, if it is too runny, thicken with a tablespoon of flour, cooking another 3 minutes. In the meantime sanitise the Lock-eat jars for at least 10 minutes in boiling water, wash the toppings separately by hand with hot water. All that remains now is to pot up to about 2 cm from the rim, and close the airtight jar lid.
Carefully clean the edges of the jars and close them. Place the jars in the pot, with the lids facing upwards. To prevent the jars from bumping and breaking during cooking, place a tea towel in the bottom of the pot and wrap each jar with additional tea towels. Cover the jars with lukewarm water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, close the pot with the lid and cook for 30 to 40 minutes on a low flame. The jars should always remain covered with water, so add hot water if necessary to restore the initial level.
At the end of the process, allow the jars to cool in the same boiling water. Then remove the jars by grasping them by the glass (not the lid) with the help of gloves and pot holders. Thanks to this process, your preparation will keep for months in the pantry, in the dark when closed and a few days in the fridge if opened.
NOTE: Since this is a sweet-and-sour sauce, the quality of the result depends on the balance of sweet, spicy and spicy; for the first preparation, therefore, it is best to follow the doses indicated, adjusting later according to taste and experience.