Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. A simple but fresh sauce. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.

Best ever?
The best tomato and basil pasta sauce is simple but fresh sauce made with tinned chopped tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet. tinnedtomatoes.com


Yep! I would say so. I started making fresh tomato and basil sauce for pasta when I was a student. It was an easy sauce I could make to feed myself and my friends, even when my boyfriend (husband now) would invite bands to stay in our student flat and I would end up feeding a dozen hungry lads.

Over the years the sauce has been tweaked to what I like to think is the best version of it. Back in my student days I would never have added red wine to a sauce as it was too much of an extravagance and I had to watch my pennies, but it does make a big difference to the favour. Originally I would have used dried basil, but of course adding fresh basil gives such of pop of flavour to the sauce and I seem to remember adding tomato ketchup to the sauce if I didn't have any tomato puree but I'd never do that now.



Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. A simple but fresh sauce. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.


I have to tell you a funny story about this sauce. Well Graham may not find it so funny.

It's fair to say Graham isn't confident in the kitchen and to get down to the core of the matter, he really has no interest in learning. Maybe if he hadn't moved straight from his parent's house to sharing a house with me, he would have had to fend for himself and eventually found a joy in cooking, but that didn't happen.

I was determined he should at least have one recipe he could make unsupervised (yes unsupervised, you will understand why I say that when you hear the rest of my story), so I taught him to make the original version of this tomato sauce. 

From time to time over the years he's felt inspired enough to make this for me on days where he was off and I was working. Not often but now and again and it was always a treat to be unexpectedly cooked for, even if the onion was often quite crunchy or he may have had the notion to add chilli, a lot of chilli.


Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. A simple but fresh sauce. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.


Cooper and I have now banned him from making us pasta.

The last time Graham made this sauce for us I came from work to the delicious smell wafting around the house. My mouth was watering and Cooper was hungry and couldn't wait to eat.

I had a little taste of the sauce and it was delicious.  Graham told Cooper and I to have a seat while he served up the pasta. It looked and smelled great but my first forkful, then my second confirmed something was wrong. It tasted soapy, really soapy. 

We've come to the conclusion he must have drained the pasta too quickly into a soapy sink after doing some dishes and the soapy water filled up through the pasta before it drained away.

To say we are too nervous to let him make us pasta again is an understatement. When he offers Cooper says poison pasta, no thanks Daddy. Poor Graham, he will never hear the end of it. Bless him.

Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. A simple but fresh sauce. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.


This sauce is delicious. It's rich with the flavour of tomato, but has a subtle flavour of basil too.

As you can see I can be very generous with the sauce to pasta ratio. What can I say, it tastes so good and it's a healthy sauce too.

Health Benefits of Cooked Tomatoes


Did you know tomatoes are even healthier when they are cooked? 

It's true. Tomatoes are low in calories and high in antioxidants, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins. 

Once they are cooked the lycopene (which gives tomatoes  their red colour) is increased as are the vitamins  and minerals. Usually when you cook fruit or vegetables some vitamins and minerals are lost, but tomatoes are an exception to this rule, the lycopene. vitamins and minerals are increased and more easily absorbed by the body. The lycopene is linked with lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

This sauce is also low calorie and great for the 5:2 diet,  (if you haven't heard the 5:2 diet or fast diet as it is also known, has been updated this year) but remember to weigh out your pasta and go easy on that sprinkle of veggie or vegan parmesan.






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Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce. A simple but fresh sauce. Full of flavour but low in calories. It's a real family favourite and suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or dairy free diet.

Best Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce


A really tasty fresh tomato sauce with the aromatic flavour of fresh basil. Fabulous on pasta or served with a nut loaf.
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 4-5 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vingear
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • a generous glug of red wine
  • a generous handful of fresh basil, finely chopped or torn
  • a good grinding of salt & black pepper
Instructions
1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and garlic until it is soft and translucent. Take your time with this, you don't want crunchy onion in the sauce.2. Once the onions are soft add the tomatoes, tomato puree, wine, balsamic vinegar and sugar and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes until the sauce has thickened.3. Add the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper.4. Serve over freshly cooked pasta.5. Enjoy!Notes: This sauce freezes well.
Details
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4-6

Nutrition facts per 4 servings:
152 calories
4.4 grams fat



Veggie bolognese sauce is a simple but super tasty sauce that is great on spaghetti or tagliatelle. It's a real family favourite and suitable for vegetarians, vegans and those on a dairy-free diet.


If you love this sauce why not try another of our family favourites Veggie Bolognese Serve it on UK style on spaghetti or Italian style on tagliatelle.

28 comments

  1. Yum. Your tomato basil sauce looks scrumptious! I didn't put wine in my sauce when I was in college either! I like your description - a generous glug of red wine! :)

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    1. Thanks Elaine, it's just a rather generous pour, but we often use the term glug here.

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  2. This pasta sauce sounds delicious! Made just the way I like it!

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  3. Tomatoes are so good for you, we eat a lot in our household. This recipe is fabulous, the simplest recipes are often the best and it can be used as a base for other Italian recipes too.

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    1. Yes we do too although Cooper can be persuaded to eat uncooked tomatoes, but he does love pasta.

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  4. I think you're right. This may just be the best pasta sauce. I've added a glug of red wine before but never balsamic. It really sounds delicious and I will be making this recipe to the T in the future.

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    1. Oh good, do try adding the balsamic, it is subtle, but tastes great.

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  5. what do you mean by 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes?

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  6. I mean two tins (cans) of chopped tomatoes. The tins here in the UK are sold in 400g. You basically need 800g tinned chopped tomatoes.

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  7. Yum I love a homemade tomato sauce and I bet adding red wine and balsamic adds tonnes of flavour. Will make this for my girls next week!

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  8. This is one of those recipes which just 'does it', perfect. Bless your lovely husband and his soapy pasta!

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  9. I love simple recipes like this - definitely upgraded with the red wine + fresh basil! :D

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    1. Oh yes do try adding them they do make a difference.

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  10. I cannot wait to try this lovely recipe! We adore a great pasta sauce and especially one with a big glug of wine!

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    1. Oh yes me too, especially with a good glug of wine!

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  11. This pasta looks really beautiful - and I love that you suggest serving it with nut roast - I made pasties last week and they would have been great with some of this sauce too.

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    1. Oh yes it is good with nut roast, I have served it with that a few times before, although I rather like my lentil and veggie haggis nut loaf with a creamy whisky sauce.

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  12. Simple is good! Especially with a glug of red wine - I agree it adds the best flavor!

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  13. Such a good recipe for a simple, yet delicious everyday supper. Does remind me very much of student days.
    I would recommend making with the soap, indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Haha I am not recommending that at all. Poor G!

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  14. Back in my student days, I didn't use wine either... because I'd drink it instead! I still don't use it in my tomato sauces though - but that's because I'm not fond of red wine in cooking.

    There, I said it!

    (Hey, I'm Venetian, not French! LOL!)

    I did chuckle when I read about G's soapy poison pasta. Maybe he was just ahead of the clean eating curve!!

    In my younger days, I'd make a similar tomato sauce, lovingly taking my time over it... only to chuck in a tin of Sainsbury's mince when it was done. I even invited friends over for 'spag bol', and no one ever complained. It fair makes me shudder now! Ha ha!

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  15. I love a good pasta sauce! This looks great!

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  16. There is nothing better than some lovely homemade tomato sauce simmering away on the stove!

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  17. This recipes has it all to be delicious! Hope I can get it right the first time!

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x

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