Simple Rustic Tomato Sauce


This is one of the easiest and most economical dishes we know. It can be produced using store cupboard ingredients, and is incredibly flexible, served as a pasta sauce, on top of rice, as a pizza topping or as an alternative to ketchup with fish or steak.

Dawn: Is this another of your student specials?

Andrew: It is! By seeking out the discount ranges, a meal for four can be produced for about a pound! 

Dawn: A bargain!


Serves 2 as a pasta sauce

1 red or white onion, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tin of tomatoes

Olive oil for frying


  • Over a medium heat and in a little olive oil, cook the onion for 5 minutes until it turns translucent.
  • Add the garlic, chilli and basil and cook for a further minute.
  • Now pour in the tin of tomatoes and turn the heat to a low simmer.
  • Stirring occasionally, allow the sauce to thicken over half an hour or so. This will allow the flavours to develop and the sauce to turn a deep shade of red.
  • When cooked it can be served as warm with pasta, or allowed to cool it can be used as an accompaniment.

Dawn: Can we be flexible with the herbs and spices, too?

Andrew: We can. Whatever is to hand can be used. If we were Italian of course we would be using fresh ripe tomatoes!

Fabulous ideas abound at and the Twitter account @Love_Food_UK as well as our Facebook and Mumsnet links.

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