The quickest tomato sauce

I learnt this recipe from my mate and mentor Gennaro Contaldo. It's a brilliant, basic tomato sauce for using on pizza and it's also great with pasta or to serve alongside meat or fish – quick, fresh, fragrant and sweet.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)


Serves makes 500ml   Approx time: 20   Difficulty: super easy


  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked and torn
  • 3 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


Place a large non-stick frying pan on the heat and pour in 4 generous lugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, shake the pan around a bit and, once the garlic begins to colour lightly, add the basil and the tomatoes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mush and squash the tomatoes as much as you can.

Season the sauce with salt and pepper. As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat. Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through. Discard the basil and garlic that will be left in the sieve, but make sure you scrape any of the tomatoey goodness off the back of the sieve into the bowl.

Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavours. It will be ready when it's the perfect consistency for spreading on your pizza.

Store the sauce in a clean jar in the fridge – it'll keep for a week or so. Also great to freeze in batches or even in an ice cube tray, so you can defrost exactly the amount you need. But to be honest, it's so quick to make, you might as well make it on the day you need it.

Copyright © 2015