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Perfect pasta and tomato sauce recipe

A serving of pasta with tomato sauce and basil leaves

Prep time
5 mins

Cooking time
15 mins

Super easy


1 tsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped

400g chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato purée

2 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 pinch ground black pepper

350g dried spaghetti

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil, to garnish

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis, per adult portion (¼ recipe)

  • 1,435kJ / 343kcal
  • 12.5g protein
  • 72g carbohydrate, of which 9g sugars
  • 2.5g fat, of which 0.3g saturates
  • 4g fibre
  • 68mg sodium, equivalent to 0.2g salt


Heat the oil in a saucepan or frying pan. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until soft.

This sauce makes a great cover for some hidden veg to help towards your 5 A Day. You could try adding finely chopped peppers or courgettes to cook with the onions. And if the sauce is a bit chunky, simply blend or purée it at the end.


Add the garlic, and cook gently for another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and mixed herbs. Season with pepper and then simmer gently, stirring every now and again, for 15 minutes or until the sauce is thick and rich.


After the sauce has been simmering for 8 to 10 minutes, start cooking the spaghetti according to pack instructions.


Drain the spaghetti and serve with the sauce, topped with fresh basil or other chopped herbs, if you like.

Try stirring about 12 halved cherry tomatoes through the sauce just before serving for a juicy, fresh twist.