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Simple but flavourful tomato sauce

A simple tomato sauce must be one of the quickest (and cheapest) meals one can throw together. That doesn't mean it has to be boring! A common stand-by in our house, this is a dish that can be adapted infinitely - just make sure you always add big bold flavours!


tomatoes (from a tin, or fresh)



olive oil

flavour boosters (at least two, more if you can!):

a couple of celery sticks

a handful of mushrooms (fresh or soak some died porcini in hot water)

a tin of anchovies (for a vegan umami blast try yeast flakes or umami paste, or a dash of soy sauce)

herbs (parsley, fennel, thyme, oregano, wild garlic...)

olives, capers and/or sun-dried tomatoes (chopped or as a paste)

add extra veg for extra nutrition: grated carrot or beetroot, and handful of greens, or frozen peas

pasta: we like spelt pasta, but you can use any kind you like: standard spaghetti, or rice noodles (gluten free) or lentil/chickpea pasta (low carb and gluten free)


Chop the onions, garlic and celery

Add to a pan with some olive oil and cook for 5 mins until the onion softens a bit

Add the tin of anchovies if using (don't worry the end result will not taste fishy, just savoury!)

Add any extra veg if using and allow to soften for another 5 mins.

Meanwhile bring a pan of salted water to boil to cook the pasta.

Add the tomato, herbs and spices, season with salt & pepper (if using anchovies be careful with the salt as they add quite a bit of saltiness already). Depending on how watery your tomatoes are you may need to add a bit of extra water or stock.

Let it bubble gently while the pasta is cooking.

Drain the pasta, mix with the sauce, add a dash of olive oil, and serve!

Alternatives to pasta:

Serve with boiled potatoes, rice, quinoa or tofu.

Or add a tin of beans instead for the best saucy beans ever!

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