If you love pasta, you’ll love this tomato & basil sauce
I make this in a large batch as it’s perfect as a sauce over plain pasta or filled ravioli; fantastic for adding into dishes like lasagne or baked cannelloni – or, reduced down, can even be used as a pizza sauce too. If (and their rarely is!) any left over, pop it in the freezer.
- 6 x 400 ml tins of Italian tomatoes (I prefer Mutti’s tomato pulp)
- 6 small onions; finely diced
- 3 large gloves of garlic, finely diced or crushed
- 3 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
- 20 large basil leaves (cut in a chiffonnade*)
- Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan and heat, add the diced onions & garlic and sweat down for 10 mins without colouring.
Whilst the onions/garlic are cooking; tip the contents of the canned tomatoes into a large bowl, add all of the other ingredients (I add 6 good pinches of sea salt and a good 10 grinds of black pepper) – mix well.
Add the tomato purée to the onion/garlic and stir throughly, cook for 1 min; then add all of the tomato mix. Turn up the heat until it reaches a steady simmer and let bubble away (with the lid on) stirring every 15 mins, for an hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning and continue to cook for another 30 mins (you can also add a little more sugar to taste – the sugar brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and balances the acidity too).
*place five basil leaves on top of each other and roll up, with a sharp knife, cut through the roll to create fine ribbons called chiffonnades. Repeat with the remaining leaves. Cutting basil, and other soft herbs, in this way helps to maintain their flavour.