Friday 10 October 2014

Tomato sauce for pasta with end of season tomatoes

Harvest Tomatoes
Tomato harvest 

Tomato sauce for pasta using end-of-season tomatoes...

I really can't believe it is that time of the year again... all of a sudden a chill is noticeable in the air, the evenings start to get dark before you know it, and it is time to harvest the laaaast of the vine ripened tomatoes. Yup, it is officially the end of summer.

Over the last few months, we have enjoyed eating the sweetest tomatoes plucked straight from the vine. Often, they are eaten just as they are, sometimes simply sliced thinly then topped with capers and finely diced red onion.  But these colder days call for something warming like a tasty homemade tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes.

Serve this tomato sauce with whole-wheat spaghetti (like SO organic Wholewheat Spaghetti by Sainsbury's). Inspired by a Tapas cooking class I recently attended, I have also added black olives.

There are so many variations on how to make the best tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes, so let me just say that this is simply my quick, easy, non-cheffy version. It is a simple but deliciously satisfying recipe to make the most of those end-of-season tomatoes.  

Tomato sauce, basil & olives tossed through spaghetti

Fresh tomato sauce (for pasta) 

Serves 2-3 


1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
750g fresh, ripe tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon demarara sugar
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
handful of fresh basil leaves (about 10g), torn
black olives, pitted and chopped (optional)


1. Using a sharp knife, mark an 'x' at the bottom of each tomato and drop into a pot of boiling water until the skin starts to tear away (this will take between 20 - 60 seconds depending on the size of the tomatoes). Remove using a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Using your hands, peel skin off and chop into small pieces.

2. Heat oil in pan over a low heat.  Add chopped onion, a few pinches of sugar and sauté for 10 minutes (adding a little oil as you go along, if necessary). Add red wine vinegar, chopped tomato, sugar and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Simmer for another 5 minutes or so, until it thickens.

3. Add basil leaves, black olives and season with salt and pepper.

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