Tomato Sauce (Pomodoro)

Serves 4

1 small white onion

2 large cloves of garlic

3 tbs good quality olive oil


Black pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp sugar

Parmesan rind (optional)

1 jar tomato passata (best you can find)

Parmesan to serve

Ideally chop the onion in a food processor until it is a paste or use a grater. Fry in a heavy saucepan (green Le Cruset best) on #6 with 2 tbs of the olive oil and 1 tsp Maldon salt. Fry until the onion is soft and do not let it brown (will be at least 5 mins) and then grate in the garlic and cook for 2 more mins. Add a little water if you need to to stop it sticking (browning).

Add the passata  to the pan, fill the jar about 1/3 with cold water and swill it round and add to the pan as well. Bring to a boil, add the bay leaf, Parmesan rind (if using), a generous grind of black pepper and the sugar then turn down to a simmer. If in a rush let it cook until thickened (about 20 mins on #4) but if you can let it cook for an hour at least on a low heat (#2) just barely simmering until it is thick.

If the sauce gets too thick it can be rescued with some more water.

If you have fresh basil you can add a handful (stalks and all not chopped) to the pan while it is cooking and fish them out before serving.

Once thickened check the seasoning, remove the Parmesan rind and bay leaf if you have used them.

Serve by adding cooked pasta to the pan (linguine is best) and drizzling over some of the remaining olive oil and grating over some fresh Parmesan.

Keep any remaining sauce for a few days in the fridge. Just remember to take out what you don’t need from the pan before adding the cooked pasta.