© David Loftus
cheat’s home-made pappardelle with quick tomato sauce
Home-made pasta sauce is so easy, and you can sling it together in around the time it takes to open a jar and heat it up.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a good few lugs of olive oil. When the oil’s hot, add the garlic and chilli and fry until lightly coloured. Drop in most of the basil – stand back as it will crackle and spit in the oil – and then, after a few seconds, add the tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. You’ll end up with a chunky sauce – if you like it smoother, pass the sauce through a coarse sieve. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. On a lightly floured work surface, cut the lasagne sheets into strips with a knife or a pastry wheel. When the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook for a few minutes until just al dente.
Drain the pasta strips in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water.
Stir the pasta into the warm sauce. If it’s a bit thick, add a few spoonfuls of the cooking water to loosen it up. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the reserved basil leaves and serve immediately.
• extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
• ½–1 fresh red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
• a small bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked
• 1 x 400g can good-quality chopped tomatoes
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 250g fresh lasagne sheets
• freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve