About this recipe:There are many versions of this delicious, indispensable sauce. This one is a basic recipe for fresh tomatoes. Vine-ripened or full-flavoured summer tomatoes are best, but when they are not available, the sauce can be made with canned tomatoes.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 kg (2 1/4 lb) tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
150 ml (5 fl oz) red wine or vegetable stock
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper
To serve (optional)
8–10 sprigs of fresh basil, shredded
4 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:35min › Ready in:45min
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned.
Add the tomatoes, wine or stock and basil. Cook over a moderate heat for 20–30 minutes or until the sauce is thick.
Pure the sauce in a blender or food processor until smooth, then rub it through a fine sieve if a particularly smooth result is required.
Add the sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and reheat the sauce.
Use the sauce as required. Or pour it over freshly cooked pasta, toss well and top with shredded basil and freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.
Some more ideas
At the beginning of the tomato season, you can boost the flavour of the sauce by adding 1 tbsp tomato pure or sun-dried tomato paste. * Use 2 cans chopped tomatoes, about 400 g each, with the juice, instead of fresh tomatoes.