Posted by: Chi Anh | April 20, 2010

Classic Tomato Sauce Pasta (from Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution”)

It’s Monday and I had to start the day earlier than usual for a work event. 11 hours later, I came home tired and still stuffed from the teabreaks and lunch buffet during the day. Plus, it was pouring outside. This calls for a really quick and simple dinner so that I can chill in bed A.S.A.P. Again I am inspired to make a recipe from Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” which is promising in both taste and time-saving factor. All you need is ingredients from your standard cupboard staples: canned diced tomatoes, garlic, a block of parmesan cheese and basil leaves (you should buy a fresh bunch every week anyways). Again, I urge you not to use ready-made pasta sauces as the tomato base is already cooked & processed with artificial flavourings, whereas canned tomatoes are made from fresh, ripe tomatoes – canned right after harvesting. It also gives a much juicier, redder and tastier base to the pasta sauce. The time it takes to make a Classic Tomato Sauce pasta this way barely takes longer than making with a bottled sauce.

Classic Tomato Sauce Pasta (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution“)

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • a small bunch of fresh basil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • about 3/4 pack of spaghetti
  • olive oil
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (about 400g)
  • Parmesan cheese for shaving


1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add the spaghetti. Cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, finely slice the garlic. Pick the basil leaves off the stalks and finely chop the stalks.

2. Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add olive oil (about 4 tablesoons). Add the garlic, basil stalks and stir. When the garlic are fragrant and starting to brown, add the basil leaves and canned tomatoes. Stir and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer and reduce a little bit.

3. Drain the spaghetti and transfer to the pan of sauce. Stir well, until the spaghetti is evenly coated with the sauce. If the sauce is too dry, add a little of the cooked pasta water from the pot to the pan. You are looking for a sauce texture that is just enough to coat the spaghetti and not not runny or overwhelming the noodle.

4. Remove the pasta onto your serving dish. Tear over a few basil leaves, and grate over some Parmesan.

A truly beautiful dish that looks like a million dollars that costs virtually nothing and takes less time to make than the evening news. And it’s vegetarian. Perfect for my Protein loaded day. Feel free to spice it up with more ingredients and colors like frozen peas, tuna or shrimps!



  1. This looks CRAZY delicious!

  2. Hahaaa… a vegetarian dish!
    No meet/fish etc = no life for me >_>

  3. too much parmesan n basil lately :)) i realized Thai food also use a lot of basils, interesting

    • Parmesan is just some shavings for extra flavour. It really enhances the flavour! I love it. Only fresh shavings. Not the dry powder kind. I hate those.

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