• This sauce is such a great staple. I usually double the recipe and freeze one half for another dinner. I like to roast some of the tomatoes for the sauce for extra flavour and then combine them with fresh and canned tomatoes.

    A good basic tomato sauce

    Serves: 4
    Cooking Time: 40 mins


    • 3 medium tomatoes, halved
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
    • Maldon salt, to taste
    • 2 anchovy fillets
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1 carrot, grated
    • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
    • 2 x 410g tins whole peeled tomatoes, crushed with the juice
    • 2 big tomatoes, peeled and grated
    • a few fresh thyme stalks, only use the leaves
    • 1 bay leaf
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • a pinch of sugar
    • 125ml (½ cup) white wine or water
    • a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and basil



    Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Place the tomato halves, cut-side up, on a baking tray. Drizzle with 15ml (1 tbsp) of the olive oil and season with the salt. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes until soft and juicy.


    In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the anchovy fillets and sauté until the anchovies dissolve in the olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic in the same oil until soft and translucent. Add the carrot and celery, and sauté until soft.


    Add the roasted tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, except for the parsley and basil. Allow to simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Use a fork to crush any big pieces of roasted tomato.


    Remove the bay leaf, add the parsley and basil, and serve with pasta of your choice.