• A basic tomato sauce recipe is essential. Use it with pasta or fish, on a homemade pizza, or mixed with some mince when you make spaghetti Bolognese. Heat 40ml extra virgin olive oil in a pot and slightly sauté 2 crushed garlic cloves. Add 1 x 425g tin whole peeled tomatoes, 50ml torn fresh basil, 3ml sugar and seasoning to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add a little water if the sauce looks too dry. Double the cooking time for every tin of tomatoes used. Makes about 350ml.

    Basic tomato sauce


    • 60ml olive oil
    • 120g onions, finely diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1kg plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and chopped
    • 50ml flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 10ml fresh oreganum, chopped
    • 60ml fresh basil, torn
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



    Heat the olive oil in a heavybottomed pot and sauté the onion and garlic.


    Add the tomatoes and herbs, and season. Serve while still hot

    This basic tomato sauce is the mother to many variations. Try some of the following for authentic Italian pastas.
    • Add chopped onion while sautéing the garlic to make Napoletana sauce.
    • Add chilli to make an arrabiata sauce.
    • Add tinned or fresh clams to make a vongole sauce.
    • Add chopped bacon and mushrooms for a delicious Americana sauce.