Rich Tomato Pasta Sauce / Salsa di Pasta al Pomodoro Ricco

Rich Tomato Pasta Sauce / Salsa di Pasta al Pomodoro Ricco

A true classic of Italian cuisine, it is perfect for pasta, pizzas and more. A good tomato sauce is one of the first things that any cook should learn to make. There is a multitude of ways to make a tomato sauce but this one is northern Italian in style. I like it because it’s very nutritious, full of flavours and you can choose to make smooth or chunky in texture. John

Credit: Adapted from a recipe by Anna Del Conte in her book “Italian Kitchen”.


    Ingredients: Serves
  • 1 medium-sized white onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, very finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, very finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp good olive oil for cooking
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2x400g (260g drained weight) Italian canned peeled plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, stems removed and chopped finely
  • 1 bay leaf, stem removed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Slowly sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until well softened (at least 10 minutes). Add a pinch of salt and stir frequently. Add the garlic just a few minutes before you finish the soffritto (sautéed mixture) and stir to mix thoroughly.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, the herbs, sugar and season lightly with salt and pepper and stir.
  3. Allow to simmer gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the oil begins to separate out into small drops around the edge and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Push the sauce through the coarsest disc of a mouli legume or blitz it for a few seconds with a hand-held blender or in a food processor- or leave it as it is. Spoon the sauce back into the saucepan and keep it warm while you cook the pasta.
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