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.
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.
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.
Add the basil to the sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a further five minutes and then serve.
So there you have it, a tasty, healthy tomato sauce that you can add your own culinary twists to.