Sunday, 16 September 2012


I'm sure you've all done it, been out and shopped too long, played in the park with children or in my case grandchildren and simply forgotten the time, and suddenly lunchtime looms and you have nothing planned. Well a week before our schools reopened I was looking after my  two grandsons, got carried away and was then in a panic about what to feed two starving boys.
Of course pasta! Quick nutritious and fortunately for me loved by both.(Well done mummy and daddy for introducing them to all kinds of food including chilli, curries and pasta, it makes nanny's job so much easier!)
All I needed was pasta, tick, pasta sauce (OK for once a good organic one out of a jar will do!) Not so, the cupboard was bare! I had fresh tomatoes, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste but no ready made tomato sauce.
Now all the recipes I had used in the past called for fresh tomato sauce to be cooked slowly and at length, so I resorted to the trusty Internet to find 'the best, tastiest, quickest tomato sauce for pasta'.
Now this is where I am a bit embarrassed because here there should be a link to the recipe which I sort of followed with a few minor adjustments, but I can't find it now, so I apologise to whoever it was that helped me out and gave me the most perfect ( in my opinion, and for my taste) tomato sauce recipe.

Now the original recipe as I recall was made as follows

2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion

3 desertspoons of soft brown sugar
2 large tins chopped tomatoes
1 tsp each of oregano, marjoram and basil
salt and pepper to taste

The method
Heat the oil, chop onion finely and then throw everything in the pan and cook on a medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes

I read some of the reviews and whilst it generally got good reports, some thought it too sweet and some too runny.

Now I like my sauce hearty and with plenty of garlic so my version went something like this....

1 tablespoon oil
1 large finely red onion
1 finely chopped red pepper
4 plump cloves garlic crushed
1 desertspoon sugar
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 good desertspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon mixed herbs ( these latter two were what I had in the cupboard!)
1 bay leaf


Heat the oil and gently cook the onion and garlic until soft but not browned (about 5 mins)
Add all the other ingredients and cook for a further 25 to 30mins stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf.

Cook your choice of pasta and pour over the sauce and enjoy.....Pasta heaven...

and the boys didn't leave a bit...........

I have since done this with fresh vine tomatoes (home grown for flavour) in place of the tinned tomatoes, have added a teaspoon of chilli flakes and added chicken and both have been delicious.

Now I am sure many of you will have your favourite recipe and I would love to hear of them, especially if they are quick and easy.

Hope you have all had a good weekend, we made a bit more progress with the decorating, did a car boot and got rid of some rubbish treasure and I'm now off for a well earned glass of wine.

Jenny xx


  1. Kids always love pasta (well they do in our house at least!!)


  2. Thanks for sharing this, will definitely give it a whirl. My two LOVE pasta.
    Lisa x

  3. Sounds delicious, especially with the homegrown vine tomatoes. x

  4. Love the sound of your sauce.

  5. Looks yummy. I always resort to that well known pasta sauce myself.

  6. Great recipe and very admiring of your gastronomically well brought up grandsons who scoffed it down. Actually quite envious of you having grandchildren handy for visits ( mine live 10,000miles away, boo).

    We also have a favourite tinned tomato pasta dish - a version of the Italian Puttanesca ( "whore's") pasta. Drain oil from tin of anchovies into the frying pan. Take anchovies and dice up small. Dice two cloves of garlic. Heat oil and add anchovies and garlic, stir for one minute. Pour in a tin of tomatoes ( if whole chop quickly with spatula as they land in the pan). Stir all around and add one tablespoon tomato puree. Cook over a very low heat, stirring occasionally for approx 20minutes until reduced to a thickish consistency. Throw in two large teaspoons capers and handful (10 to 15) black olives, and stir in just before serving. Pour over prepared pasta of your choice. Mr EM prefers spaghetti but I prefer fusilli ( corkscrews). This is enough for two greedy portions or four moderate/child portions. Yum.

  7. Your past sauce sounds delicious Jenny!

    Happy new week,

    Madelief x

  8. sounds delish- I always stick in a whopping spoonful of hummus which gives a thicker, creamier sauce.
    So, when are we going to see jars of Winnibriggs Sauce on the supermarket shelves?


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