Tomato sauce


Pasta with a simple tomato sauce is just about my favourite food.  The two most important things to remember when making this sauce are 1) to cook it fast, as this gives a fresher flavour, and 2) to pass it through a food mill once cooked (rather than pureeing in a food processor), as this results in a red rather than orange sauce.

Season:  Summer /Autumn

Type:  Big dishes, Pasta

Difficulty:  Easy

Serves:  8 at home or 24 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  tomatoes, garlic

Recipe source: Lou’s recipe


  • scales
  • metric measuring cups
  • chopping boards & non-slip mats
  • medium knives
  • zester
  • 2 medium saucepans
  • food mill (mouli)

  • 1.5 kg ripe tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
What to do

  • Set out your equipment and ingredients.
  • Cut the tomatoes into quarters and put in the saucepan.
  • Use the zester to grate the garlic and add to the saucepan with the olive oil.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have collapsed and become pulpy.
  • Remove from the heat.  Pass the tomato mixture through the coarsest disc of a food mill (mouli) and return to a clean saucepan.
  • (If you prefer a smoother sauce, pass the mixture through the food mill’s medium disc.  You may also thicken the sauce by reducing it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.)
  • Add the sugar to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper, heat gently.  It is now ready to toss with the pasta.
NotesInteresting techniques used in this recipe are:

  • Pureeing a sauce using a food mill.
  • Initially this sauce is cooked quickly over medium-high heat to retain flavour and colour, then once the sauce is cooked, it is heated gently over low heat.


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