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Pasta sauce a-la-Abo: vine to table in 30 minutes.

Posted in Food, Food & Entertaining, and Uncategorized

photoThe search for the perfect Tomato sauce for pasta is ongoing and delicious. My two favourites, thus far, are (camparimother) Anna-Rosa’s simmered sugo which she makes using regular crushed canned tomatoes. The secret she told me – was to flavour the oil with the garlic, take the garlic out, add the tomatoes and let them fry in the fragrant oil for a minute or two – before reducing to a simmer. She also said never to let the garlic crisp … makes the sauce bitter.

sofabrother’s chopped fresh tomatoes macerated in extra-virgin olive oil – with added chunks of canned tuna and peas is another winner (recipe here). But the search continues. The way I see it – you can never have too many pasta sauce options.

You might have met Abo on Tuesday (if you didn’t, make his aquaintance here) and his take on tomato sauce sounded quick and delish, I thought it worth trying. I am going to serve it over linguine. With paper thin flakes of pecorino resting on top.

Lunch today demanded a walk through the garden, which in less than five minutes gave up enough sweet little tomatoes and green leafy basil for a quick pasta sauce. All the Italians I know shudder at the words quick+pasta+sauce used together, but too bad for  them. I didn’t have the inclination to stand over a hot stove, and the result is always delicious.

Also I don’t see the point of hiding summer’s bright rich bursting flavours with long slow cooking.


  • a good heap of fresh, bright red tomatoes (skinned by dropping into boiling water and popping tough skins off if necessary)
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • fat clove of garlic
  • chilli flakes
  • red wine vinegar (or balsamic)
  • handfull of basil
  • anchovie fillets
  • grana padano (or parmesan cheese/pecorino)

The tomatoes were cooked in a little butter and olive oil with a grated clove of garlic, a healthy pinch of dried chilli flakes and a dash of red wine vinegar until they collapsed into a sticky mess. You can use balsamic instead, if you hanker for the eighties.

Then I ripped up the basil and added that just before I drained the pasta (Gomiti, if you’re interested, which means elbow, if you’re interested) and chucked it in to mix through with just a touch too much grana and a dollop of bright green grassy local olive oil to finish.

Well, to almost finish; I added a few fillets of good anchovies to the mix at the last minute because I spied them in the fridge when I was putting the cheese back.

Eaten outside at the table with the chooks crooning for tidbits, the dogs snapping lazily at flies in the shade and me slurping at a glass of very good Sauvignon Blanc between mouthfuls while pondering The Times cryptic, with Art Blakey swinging in the background.

Holidays with the fragrant one in idyllic spots on the Pacific shoreline are all well and good. But Ms. Garland was right. There’s no place like home.”

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