Rich and flavoursome, this tomato sauce is our go-to for many dishes: pizza sauce, ratatouille, to accompany gnocchi and, of course, it can be simply enjoyed with pasta. Try to get hold of San Marzano tomatoes if you can, they have a lovely soft texture and mild acidity. Otherwise use good quality tinned plum tomatoes.
- x1 800g can San Marzano tomatoes (or x2 400g cans good quality plum tomatoes)
- 2 large cloves of garlic
- 1 small bunch of fresh basil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- Dried ancho chilli flakes (optional)
- Place a colander over a bowl. Drain the San Marzano / plum tomatoes in the colander for 10 – 15 minutes. Reserve the juice in the bowl for another use (it will keep for a few days in the fridge, otherwise you can freeze it).
- Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic, then pick the basil leaves and finely chop the stalks.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan on a medium-low heat, add the garlic and basil stalks (and ancho chilli flakes if using), then cook gently for a couple of minutes, or until the garlic is lightly golden, then add the basil leaves, the tomatoes, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Leave the sauce to simmer for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking and breaking up the tomatoes up with the back of a wooden spoon. At the end of the time the sauce should have reduced and be nice and thick. Taste, and season to perfection.