Fresh Tomato Sauce for Pasta

From Delia Online


2 lb 8 oz (1.15 kg) fresh, red, ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion weighing about 4 oz (110 g), peeled and finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed
approximately 12 large leaves fresh basil
a little Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), to serve
salt and freshly milled black pepper


  • First skin the tomatoes. To do this, pour boiling water over them and leave them for exactly 1 minute or, if the tomatoes are small, 15-30 seconds, before draining and slipping off their skins (protect your hands with a cloth if they are too hot).
  • Reserve 3 of the tomatoes for later and roughly chop the rest.
  • Next heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion and garlic and let them gently cook for 5-6 minutes, until they are softened and pale gold in colour.
  • Now add the chopped tomatoes with about a third of the basil, torn into pieces.
  • Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper, then all you do is let the tomatoes simmer on a very low heat, without a lid, for approximately 1½ hours or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, jam-like consistency, stirring now and then.
  • Roughly chop the reserved fresh tomatoes and stir them in, along with the rest of the torn basil leaves, and serve on pasta with a hint of Parmesan – not too much, though, because it will detract from the wonderful tomato flavour

To Serve

When serving this sauce, it is a good idea to give the pasta 1 minute less cooking time than you usually would, then return it to the saucepan after draining and give 1 more minute while you mix in the sauce.