Italian cooking proves that less is more. Using just a few ingredients you can make a simple and tasty tomato sauce. The children like this sauce on its own but if I have leftover meat I can chuck it in too. Leftover sausages or chicken are particularly good. Olive oil is not just to cook the onion it forms part of the sauce that makes the texture silky and shiny. Passata is crushed, smooth tomatoes which have 3 B-vitamins that benefit our mental health. It’s also packed with vitamin C which is a good immune booster in the winter.
Serves 2 Adults & 2 Kids
300g of any pasta
(water and salt for the pasta)
80ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
1 x 500g box of passata
2 tsp salt
3 tsps sugar
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
cooked meats like sausage, chicken or pork
tinned tuna or anchovies
peppers or mushrooms
- Fill a large saucepan 3/4 full will water and put it on a high heat until the water is bubbling and boiling. Add at least 2 tsps of salt to the water and let the water start to bubble again then add your pasta to the water and give it all a stir then set your timer for 9 minutes.
- Put the olive oil in a medium to large sized frying pan or skillet on a medium heat. Halve the onion then peel it. Get a cheese grater and grate the onion straight into the pan. This saves on chopping and makes the onion cook faster. *Kid Friendly Note: if texture is a problem for your children you can leave out the onion.
- After frying the onion for 4 minutes add the salt, sugar, mixed herbs and grate in the garlic (or add the garlic powder). Stir it into the onions then add the passata. Put a little water in the passata carton and swish it around to loosen the remaining tomato then pour it into the pan. Stir and turn the heat down to medium low then let it cook until the pasta is ready. If you’re adding any meat add it when you turn the heat down and cook for at least 4 minutes.
- When the pasta is ready (soft but still with a bit of resistance – this is called aldente) drain it and add to the pan. You can add grated cheese to this dish for extra calcium.