Spaghetti with cherry tomato sauce

I'd be inclined to buy a big batch of tomatoes and make double the amount of sauce needed for this: it freezes brilliantly, and is comforting to have to hand when you need a quick fix of summer in the depths of winter. Leave out the ancho chillies, if you prefer, especially if you plan to feed this to little ones.

4 people

Serving size


90ml olive oil 
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced very thinly
1kg cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ tsp caster sugar (or a bit more or less, depending on the tomatoes’ sweetness)
2 dried ancho chillies, roughly torn 
20g basil leaves, torn, plus 5g extra, finely chopped just before serving, to garnish
400g spaghetti
35g parmesan, finely grated


  1. Put 75ml of the oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and fry for up to a minute, stirring a few times, until it’s just starting to caramelise. Add the tomatoes (be gentle, or the oil may spit), sugar, chillies and half a teaspoon of salt. Add 200ml water and stir through for four minutes, until the tomatoes are starting to break down and the liquid is bubbling. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cook for an hour, stirring every once in a while, until the tomatoes have completely broken down and the sauce has thickened. Stir through the torn basil and keep somewhere warm.

  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil, add the pasta and cook for 10-12 minutes (or according to the instructions on the packet), until the pasta is cooked but still retains a bite. Drain, return the pasta to the pan and stir in the remaining oil. Divide the spaghetti between the bowls, spoon over the tomato sauce, sprinkle over the parmesan and serve at once, with a sprinkle of finely chopped basil on top.
Ancho Chilli