This is my absolute favourite vegetarian tomato pasta sauce, it is so simple and delicious and it tastes a thousand times better than the store-bought ready pasta sauces. It is extremely versatile as well, you can use it for a lasagna recipe or with any other type of pasta like penne or spaghetti. It transforms any pasta into an absolute indulgence!
The key to a delicious tomato pasta sauce is of course the tomatoes. We don’t all have access to plum delicious tomatoes, certainly not in London, to make our own sweet chopped tomato sauce but there are some canned chopped tomato brands that are quite good. On most canned tomatoes in the store (including the one on the picture below) you will see an additional ingredient on the list – Citric acid which is used to add acidic taste to the food and preserve it for longer. Generally it is considered safe and it’s quite common but still unnecessary. Some brands contain added sugar and salt which is also not needed. Here are the best canned organic tomatoes brands that don’t have any citric acid and contain only juicy Italian tomatoes:Organic Chopped Tomatoes – apparently from Tuscany!
Mr Organic Chopped Tomatoes – Italian again.
These are the main ingredients of this gorgeous tomato pasta sauce. Obviously if you have access to some sweet plum tomatoes (like those who live in Spain or Italy or somewhere else in south Europe), then you can dice a couple of fresh tomatoes instead of using canned.
You can choose any mushrooms you like for the sauce, personally I prefer chestnut mushrooms as they taste great and I can easily find organic.
To achieve a sauce that has a thick and creamy consistency, you need to leave it to simmer on medium heat for about 20 – 30 minutes after you add the passata. This will allow the tomato juice and wine to evaporate to achieve the perfect texture and make it amazing! Detailed instructions, further below.
The spaghetti I use here were brought to me as a gift from Italy! They are just normal white spaghetti but it feels somehow different when you know they come from the home country of pasta! Normally I prefer thinner whole grain spaghetti, to read more about whole grains, check out the BREAD & CEREALS guide.
I am sure you will love this mouth-watering tomato sauce, I can’t describe the smell in the kitchen while I am cooking it. The aroma of sweet tomatoes, basil, olives and mushrooms is absolutely divine!
- 300 g sliced mushrooms (about 3 cups)
- 1 cup sliced olives
- 400g organic chopped tomatoes (1 can or a couple of diced fresh tomatoes)
- 400g organic passata
- 50 ml red wine (optional)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tbsp dried garlic or 1 clove fresh crushed garlic
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chopped)
- sea salt - at least 1/2 tbsp (adjust to taste)
- black pepper to taste
- about 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Heat gently the olive oil in a deep frying pan and add the mushrooms and olives. Stir well to coat them in olive oil and put the lid on. Leave them to cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms have soften and reduced their size.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, passata and the rest of the ingredients, the mixture will be quite liquid.
- Put the lid on again and leave the sauce to simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes on medium-high heat (stirring occasionally) until it is thick and the tomato juice and wine have evaporated.