Giorgio breaks down the basics of the tomato sauce

A good tomato sauce can stand alone as a dip for pita, be used on a pizza base or poured on cooked pasta for a quick meal. “The sauce relies on a very few, very good ingredients and, like so many pasta dishes that use fresh tomatoes, is best in summer, when the tomatoes are really, really ripe and the basil is plentiful,” explains Locatelli. “Usually, though, even when you are using the best fresh tomatoes you can find, you will still need some good-quality tinned tomatoes to give some extra sauce.”

1. Blanch, skin and deseed two of the best quality tomatoes you can find, and cut each one into eighths.

2. Heat two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook two finely chopped garlic cloves very gently until they start to colour (don’t let the garlic burn or it will taste bitter).

3. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, together with the fresh tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes until you have quite a thick sauce.

4. Towards the end of that time, cook the pasta in a large pan of salted boiling water for about a minute less than the time given on the packet (usually six to seven minutes).

5. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water, and add the pasta to the sauce, together with two more tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.

6. Toss well and, if necessary, loosen the sauce with a little of the reserved pasta cooking water.

7. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan and serve.

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