Tomato sauce

This basic tomato sauce is great with pasta, gnocchi or to spread on pizza. It’s also a key ingredient in my tomato risotto.


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 750g ripe tomatoes or 2 cans tomatoes including juice
  • sea salt, sugar and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 fresh basil leaves, torn or sliced


  1. Cut a little cross on the bottom of the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Pour boiling water over to cover and leave for one minute. Drain tomatoes and plunge into very cold water. Cut out the stalk end and slip off the skins. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze or flick out the seeds. I do this over a strainer to catch the juices to add to the sauce. Now roughly chop the tomatoes. If using canned tomatoes you can simply cut out the stem ends and roughly chop.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic and parsley. Cook for a minute and then add the tomatoes and season with salt, sugar and pepper. Cook briskly for a few minutes then turn the heat down and simmer partly covered for about 30 minutes. Stir from time to time adding a little water if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Puree the sauce if desired with a stick-blender or in a food processor. Add the fresh basil to the sauce. Reserve one cup of this sauce for the risotto.


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