Pasta with tomato sauce
( SERVES 4 )
This is a basic recipe for tomato sauce. It makes a lot so you may not need all of it on the pasta. Try it on pizza bases or with sausages and chicken. You can also add extra ingredients to the basic recipe. For example, fry some bacon pieces or mince with the onion once it is softened, or add black olives after the sauce is cooked.
- Peel and chop the onions and garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion until it is soft but do not let it go brown.
- Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Open the cans of tomatoes, add them to the pan and chop them with a wooden spoon. Add the fresh thyme. Let the mixture simmer for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with cold water, cover with the lid and bring the water to the boil.
- Stir the tomato paste/concentrate into the tomato mixture and let the sauce cook gently until quite thick.
- Stir the sauce occasionally so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add a tablespoon of salt to the boiling water. Add the pasta, stir, then let the water boil without the lid until the pasta is cooked.
- To test if the pasta is cooked, remove a piece from the water and bite it; it should be firm but soft enough to eat.
- When the pasta is cooked, pour it into a colander or sieve over the sink to drain, taking care not to burn yourself.
- Taste the tomato sauce and add some salt and pepper if you like.
- Tip the drained pasta into a large bowl, or back into its cooking saucepan.
- Spoon some tomato sauce over the pasta, and mix with a wooden spoon so the pasta is coated with sauce.
- Sprinkle with cheese if you like.