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    Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

    When you realise it takes only 15 minutes, you'll never buy pre-made again!





    Prep Time

    5 minutes

    Cooking Time

    15 minutes

    It may seem like I’m overstating things a bit here, but learning how to make a basic tomato sauce will change your cooking habits forever. Firstly, you’ll never buy a jar of sauce again. Why would you when you can whip this up in 15 minutes for half the price and double the taste? I think I might just have got your attention with that statement.

    My Italian grandmother taught me how to make this sauce. It graced our table every day in one guise or another; used as it is in these pictures for a quick and easy spaghetti supper, or any number of ingredients were added to create different sauces. Add meat for a Bolognese or lasagne base, add chilli and chorizo for something a little more fiery, or tuna and vegetables to create a great filling for baked potatoes – this sauce doesn't just have to accompany pasta. I rely on it so much, I tend to make huge batches of it and keep it in the freezer, so there’s always some there, no matter how I intend to use it.


    • 500g carton of passata
    • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 tsp of olive oil (Extra virgin is good if you have it, but not essential)
    • A handful of basil leaves (roughly 8-10 large leaves), roughly chopped
    • Salt and pepper to season

    Step 1

    To a hot pan, add a teaspoon of olive oil – adding the oil when the pan is hot stops it from burning. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes until they have softened.

    Step 2

    Pour in the passata and another teaspoon of olive oil. Bring the heat up a little until the sauce starts to bubble. Now turn it down and simmer for five minutes.

    Step 3

    Add the basil to the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a further five minutes and then serve.

    Step 4

    So there you have it, a tasty, healthy tomato sauce that you can add your own culinary twists to.