This simple recipe for tomato and basil pasta sauce uses storecupboard ingredients, including basil-infused Italian olive oil, and is ready in under 10 minutes! Serve with your favourite pasta and toppings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Is pasta the ultimate comfort food?
A bowl of hot pasta in tomato sauce is one of those perfect, nostalgic comfort foods, to me. I grew up living off spaghetti with Ragu sauce, sprinkled liberally in that fake Parmesan cheese (remember that stuff, it was kept in the cupboard?!).
Best dinner, ever.
Now, I find it’s cheaper (and tastier) to make my own sauce. I stock up on jars of passata rustica at the supermarket when I find them on offer and it takes just a matter of minutes to transform them into a delicious pasta sauce.
Perfect for those busy midweek meals when I can’t be bothered to cook.
Ingredients for tomato and basil pasta sauce
- passata rustica (sieved tomatoes)
- garlic – lots of fresh garlic, but you can use lazy garlic too if that’s all you have
- olive oil (to cook)
- basil-infused olive oil (to add at the end) – or add a big handful of fresh basil leaves along with a glug of extra virgin olive oil
- fusilli pasta, to serve (my kids call this ‘normal pasta’)
- sea salt, to add to the pasta water for cooking
How to make tomato and basil sauce
- Heat olive oil in a small saucepan
- Add the chopped or crushed garlic. Cook for one minute until fragrant.
- Add passata rustica (sieved tomatoes).
- Bring to a simmer.
- Remove from the heat and stir in a few spoonfuls of basil-infused olive oil or some extra virgin olive oil and a handful of torn, fresh basil leaves.
- Pour over cooked pasta, top as desired and enjoy!
This basic tomato sauce in a bowl of fusilli (aka “normal pasta”) is my children’s favourite go-to comfort food. Sometimes I jazz it up with a sprinkling of dried oregano added along with the garlic, or I use regular olive oil at the end and add a generous handful or two of torn basil leaves. Sometimes I add capers, anchovies and kalamata olives to make spaghetti puttanesca.
It’s an incredibly versatile base, too. You could leave it to simmer and thicken for an hour or so to make pizza sauce, or throw in some overripe tomatoes and freeze the sauce for use at a later date.
How do you like your tomato sauce? Let me know in the comments!
Recipe Difficulty Levels
Requires basic cooking skills and ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.
Requires more experience, preparation and/or cooking time. You may have to source special ingredients.
Recipes requiring more advanced skills and experience and maybe some special equipment.
Comfort Food Pasta Bowl with Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce
for the tomato and basil pasta sauce
to cook the pasta
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- Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add salt and pasta. Stir, and set timer according to packet instructions – between 8-11 minutes, usually, depending on the type of pasta.
- Heat olive oil in small saucepan. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute.
- Stir in the passata rustica and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the basil-infused olive oil.
- Serve with your favourite pasta and toppings.
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