Tag Archives: Quick Supper

Tomato Pasta Sauce

In my garden I always grow tomatoes. One of the reasons that I grow them is because they are relatively easy but also because so often you find the supermarket ones kept in the fridge. It seems crazy to me to buy a tomato that has been in the fridge as putting them in the there fundamentally changes their texture. They get that nasty cotton wool like texture which completely ruins my enjoyment.

Anyway, one of the issues with growing tomatoes is what to do when they all become ripe. I always sew too many, it doesn’t matter how much I try to stop myself I simply can’t resist growing at least two varieties; this year Gardeners Delight an easy cherry and Sungold a golden cherry both suitable for ripening in the English sunshine or lack there of. Obviously you can make a tomato salad but this sauce makes something more substantial and can easily be made in 20 minutes.

Sungold & Gardeners Delight Tomatoes

Recipe: Tomato Pasta Sauce

Summary: Simple fresh pasta sauce


  • 1 Tin of Anchovies
  • 400g Fresh Tomatoes
  • Dried Pasta – 60g per Person
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • Pinch of Chilli Flakes (optional)
  • Handful of Basil Leaves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. In a shallow pan (I use my big sautéing pan which is a bit like a flat bottom wok) on a gentle heat melt the anchovies.
  2. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopped. Cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes break down. There will be a lot of juice that comes out of the tomatoes which will reduced and create an intensely tomatoey sauce.
  3. In a pan of boiling, well salted water add the pasta shape of your choice – for me it really depends on my mood and what I have in the cupboard.
  4. Add the garlic and chilli to the tomatoes, reduce the heat and cook until the pasta is ready. If your sauce becomes a bit dry add a little of the pasta water to loosen it.
  5. Just before you are going to serve add the torn basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I am currently using a peppery one from Puglia in the south of Italy.

Spaghetti with a Tomato Pasta Sauce

Quick notes

This tomato sauce is the starting point for so many of the traditional sauces. In fact by adding the chilli it goes from a simple pomadoro to arribatta.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Italian

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Vietnamese Style Beef Salad

Recipe: Vietnamese Style Beef Salad

Summary: A healthy way to use up rare roast beef in the summer time. It looks like loads of ingredients but most of them are store cupboard staples.


  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Palm Sugar (or caster sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp Lime Juice
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 Chilli – Finely Chopped
  • 1 Small Clover of Garlic – Grated
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger – Grated
  • 1 tsp Sesame Seeds – Toasted
  • Cooked Beef – About 50g per Person – Very Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Iceberg Lettuce – Shredded
  • 1/2 Red Onion – Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Courgette – In Ribbons
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Mint
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Basil


  1. Mix the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, water, chilli, garlic and ginger in a bowl. If your palm sugar is in a big lump grate it first otherwise it won’t dissolve.
  2. Put all of the other ingredients (apart from the sesame seeds) in a bowl or on a large plate.
  3. Pour over the dressing and mix together thoroughly.
  4. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and serve


I have used courgettes as I have a glut from the garden but carrots or any other crunchy vegetable would work just as well. Feel free to use other green herbs if you have them in stock – dill or coriander would work perfectly in here. If you would like some carbs add cold noodles but increase the amount of dressing.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Diet tags: Low calorie, Reduced carbohydrate

Number of servings (yield): 2

Culinary tradition: Vietnamese

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