Sometimes the meal you've planned seems like it's missing something. So, you decide to add a sauce but have no idea where to begin, since there are so many options and some of them are a bit daunting. This is Sauces 101. These are basic sauces that you can turn to time and time again, in all of your cooking.
30g plain flour
Melt the margarine in a pan on a medium heat and then add the plain flour. Stir with a fork or whisk until you get a smooth paste. Then add milk slowly (about a fifth at a time) whilst stirring continuously. Stir until the sauce reaches the desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper.
Variations: Add 30g of cheese at the end to make a cheese sauce (good for mac and cheese or lasagne) or add 2tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley at the end for to make a parsley sauce (good with salmon and other fish).
Vegetable Pasta Sauce
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 small green pepper
1 small carrot
1tsp dried mixed herbs
Dice the onion, green peppers and carrots and crush the garlic. Fry the onion in oil for 2 minutes and then add the garlic, pepper and carrots and fry for another 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, water and mixed herbs. Season well (use a lot of pepper). Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
Variations: Add mince and cook some spaghetti for simple spag-bol. Add some bacon for a meaty taste!
(goes particularly well with sausages)
1 small onion
Pierce and fry your chosen meat either fully or partially depending on what you are doing with it. Allow the juices to fill the pan and if the edges burn slightly this is fine. Remove the meat from the pan and keep the juices and burnt bits. Slice the onions and add to the pan. Fry for about 6 minutes, scraping any pieces of meat off the side of the pan. Add the water and gravy granules and simmer until the gravy reaches the desired thickness.
Images sourced from BBC Food. Compiled by Jenni Dimmock.