IF your tomato plants survived the rains of the summer and you now have so many ripe tomatoes that you don't know what to do with them, try turning them into a tasty home-made sauce which can be served with meat balls or poured over pasta.

You can make up extra sauce and store it in the freezer if your tomato plants are being particularly generous to you at the moment.

There are loads of fancy ways to make meat balls - the recipe I've used today is easy to make and tasty, and should prove popular with the younger members of the family.

To make enough for four, you will need: 1lb (450g) freshly-minced beef 1 medium-sized onion - cut as fine as you can 1 clove garlic - chopped fine Handful of fresh marjoram - chopped Flour to dust the meat balls before cooking Olive oil to fry meat balls.

Salt and freshly-ground black peppercorns to season For the sauce: 2lb (approx 1 kilo) ripe tomatoes Bunch spring onions - chopped fine Clove garlic - chopped fine Handful fresh marjoram - chopped fine Olive oil to fry tomatoes Salt and freshly-ground black peppercorns to season Method: Make the tomato sauce first by chopping the tomatoes roughly, then placing them into a large pan, together with enough olive oil to cover the bottom Add the spring onions, garlic and marjoram to the pan, season and cook gently with a lid on while you make the meat balls Make the meat balls by placing the mince into a large bowl with chopped onion, garlic, marjoram and seasoning Having mixed the ingredients together well, decide what size you want to make your meat balls and roll them into shape on a well-floured surface Heat a little oil in a large frying pan, place the meat balls into the pan and cook on a medium heat, allowing them time to seal before turning to brown evenly When they are brown all over, place a lid on the pan and allow them to go on cooking gently while you check the sauce You can use the sauce just as it is, with chunks of tomato giving it a tasty rustic look, or you can mash it down a little with a potato masher. Should you want a really smooth sauce, you can push it through a sieve or zap it through the liquidizer. The choice is up to you Freeze any sauce you have over to flavour future dishes.