Classic Tomato Spaghetti



4 to 6 servings



2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chile
A sm. bunch of fresh basil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb. dried spaghetti
Olive oil
1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
4 oz. Parmesan cheese


To prepare your pasta
Peel and finely slice the garlic. Finely slice your chile (halve and seed it first if you don’t want the sauce too hot). Pick the basil leaves off the stalks and put to one side. Finely chop the stalks.

To cook your pasta
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 2 good lugs of olive oil. Add the garlic, chile, and basil stalks and give them a stir. When the garlic begins to brown slightly, add most of the basil leaves and the canned tomatoes. Turn the heat up high and stir for a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Drain the spaghetti in a colander then transfer it to the pan of sauce and stir well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Divide the pasta between your bowls, or put it on the table in a large serving dish and let everyone help themselves. Roughly tear over the remaining basil leaves and grate over some Parmesan.

These can be added to your tomato sauce when it’s finished. Just stir in and warm through:
• Add a handful of baby spinach leaves to the sauce at the same time you add the pasta—when the leaves have wilted remove from the heat and serve with some crumbled goat’s cheese on top.
• A few handfuls of cooked shrimp and a handful of chopped arugula with the juice of ½ a lemon.
• A can of tuna drained and flaked into the sauce with ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, some black olives and the juice of ½ a lemon.
• A handful of fresh or frozen peas and fava beans

Author's Comments

This recipe is taken from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion). © Jamie Oliver, 2009

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2 Recipe Reviews


barbmyers reviewed Classic Tomato Spaghetti on May 24, 2010

This sauce is incredibly simple and delicious. It is not spicy, even with the garlic and chili. This sauce is great to make with kids. It's a nice light alternative to heavy, gloppy sauce from a jar.


ryansnyder reviewed Classic Tomato Spaghetti on May 25, 2010

Easy to make - perfect for newbies to the food revolution.