Pasta with a rich Tomato Sauce


At the risk of being accused of ‘teaching your granny to suck eggs’ I want to share a simple pasta recipe that may come in useful. Using a few ingredients and ready to eat in less than 20 minutes it’s a great standby. As always swap and change ingredients depending on what you’ve got but the basics are tinned tomatoes and pasta. I used an egg pasta, Capricci all’uovo, simply because it was on offer at the local budget supermarket. Any smallish pasta will do, fusilli, penne or actually even gnocchi will work.



Dried Pasta twists (Capricci)

2 good handfuls of chopped kale (you can use spinach or chard)

Tin of chopped tomatoes

Half a red pepper-roughly chopped

Half an onion-finely chopped

Pinch of dried garlic (use fresh if available or omit if none to hand)

Handful of button mushrooms-roughly chopped

Vegetable stock cube-1/2 is sufficient

Pinch of saffron (saffron is a bit of a luxury but I buy it in an international food shop for a good price and it lasts ages-can be substituted with paprika)

Black pepper & salt to taste

Olive oil or any vegetable oil you have



Put the pasta (around 100gr per person) onto a large pan of salted water, if using chopped kale add this at the same time.

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan over a medium heat, drop the saffron in if used and allow to sizzle. Add the chopped onions, garlic and red pepper stirring to make sure everything is coated. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms plus the spinach or chard if you’re using instead of kale (or add anyway if you have both), stir again and cook for another minute. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and crumble in the stock cube (add the paprika now if using instead of saffron). Add a touch of water if it looks too thick but not too much that it goes sloppy. Stir until thickened adding salt and pepper to taste. Check the pasta is al dente and drain. Put pasta (and kale) back into the pan and pour over the sauce, stirring through until the pasta is coated. Serve with some grated cheese if desired but it doesn’t need it.