Quarantine sauce - recipe courtesy of Good Food

With the current worldwide Covid-19 situation, one of the topics that we hear talked about most is food - or the lack of food, and what we will eat if we are in compulsory isolation or lockdown. With bare shelves at many of the supermarkets, the following recipe for Quarantine sauce uses a few staples, and a few veges and will provide a delicious and versatile sauce that you can store and use in many ways depending on what you have and what is available!


4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 red onions, finely chopped

2 celery sticks, finely chopped

1 tbsp thyme leaves (or dried oregano, Italian herb mix or dried parsley)

6 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes

2 cups white wine

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 tbsp white miso (optional)

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


1. Place a stockpot or pasta-size pot over medium heat. Add a generous lug of olive oil and add the onion, celery and garlic. As soon as you hear a sizzle, turn heat to low and let them sweat for 10 minutes or until translucent.

2. Add the thyme and cook for another minute or so, then add the tomatoes, wine and stock. Give it a good stir then add the brown sugar and vinegar. Cover with a lid and simmer for 4 hours, checking on it and giving it a stir every hour or so.

3. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Stir through the miso, if using, and cook for another 30 minutes, until the mixture intensifies in colour and consistency.

4. Depending on how broken down your vegetables are, use a stick blender and give it a quick whiz to break down any larger chunks. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Makes about 4 cups

Note - you could also put all ingredients in a slow cooker and leave over night

Recipe ideas

Pasta with quarantine sauce, tuna, olives and chill

Add 1 tin tuna and ½ cup quarantine sauce per serve to a saucepan and place over low heat. Let it warm through before adding a handful of olives. Give it another stir and let it simmer, while you cook some pasta according to packet instructions. Serve pasta topped with sauce. Sprinkle over fresh chilli or chilli flakes, to taste. Season with parmesan, salt and pepper and sprinkle over a bit of flat-leaf parsley, if you have it on hand.

Chicken pepperoni and quarantine sauce

Add some chicken thighs (about two per serve) to a frypan, with about 100 grams of sliced pepperoni and fry until lightly browned. Pour over enough quarantine sauce to cover. Simmer for 15 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through. Season generously with salt and pepper. Throw a few basil leaves at it if you have them, and serve.

Quarantine sauce chilli

Brown off 500 grams of beef mince with 1 chopped red onion. Add a can of rinsed black beans. Pour over enough quarantine sauce to cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Serve in tacos, make enchiladas, or top with corn chips, chopped avo, shredded cheese and chopped tomato for one big free-form bowl of taco.

Quarantine beans

Add 2 cans of white beans, 2 cups quarantine sauce and 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes to a frypan. Place over low heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Throw some mozzarella at it. Throw some basil leaves and salt and pepper at it after that. Warm a bit of flatbread for scooping. Dinner done.

A few other options for quarantine sauce

Use it as sauce for pizza.

Use it to simmer a few pieces of barramundi with any fresh herbs or curry leaves that might be lurking in the back of your freezer. Serve over rice.

Roast some chunks of eggplant in olive oil and dried oregano in the oven. Plop in a pan with quarantine sauce. Add chilli and cook for 15 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and breaking down. Plate. Tear over some mozzarella or feta, if you have it on hand.

Roll some mince (any will work) into meatballs with dried herbs from your cupboard. Brown in a large frypan. Pour over quarantine sauce and simmer.

Use as the base for baked eggs

Thin it out with some extra stock to turn into a soup. Serve with a cheese toastie.