Recipe: Tomato Sauce for Pasta

Rating: 4.6 stars based on 885 reviews


  • 800g good, tinned plum tomatoes or ripe fresh fruit
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Dash of red-wine vinegar
  • 3 stems of fresh basil
  • Extra-virgin oil, to serve (optional)


  • If using fresh tomatoes, drop them into a pan of boiling water and leave for about a minute, until the skins split. Lift out and peel, then roughly chop.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-low heat and add the chopped onion. Soften for about five to seven minutes, until translucent but not coloured. Stir in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
  • Tip in the tomatoes, and break up with a wooden spoon if necessary, then add the sugar, vinegar and the stems of the basil, reserving the leaves. Season lightly.
  • Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.
  • Test the seasoning, add the basil leaves, roughly torn, and drizzle in a little extra-virgin olive oil if you like before serving.


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