Fresh tomato sauce for spaghetti

Annabel Karmel's children love this meal. You will need to choose good-quality, ripe plum tomatoes to get the best flavour - look for ones with a dark-red colour
By Annabel Karmel
Fresh tomato sauce for spaghetti
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 large plum tomatoes, skinned, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 25 g butter
  • 8 fresh leaves of basil, torn into pieces
  • 250 g spaghetti
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • freshly grated parmesan, to serve (optional)


1. Heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Skin the whole tomatoes by scoring a cross in the bottom of each and placing about four at a time in a large pan of boiling water for about 15 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes into a bowl of iced water. When cool enough to handle, remove from the water and pull off the skins using your fingers or a small knife. Seeded tomatoes make thicker sauces - it's easy to remove the seeds using a melon baller or teaspoon.

2. Dice the tomatoes and add with the sugar to the onions. Cook for 30 minutes. Stir in the butter and basil leaves and season to taste. Some children are put off if they see green bits in their tomato sauce so you may want to divide the sauce into two and add basil to only one half - offer the sauce with the basil first.

3. In the meantime, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions in a large pan of salted boiling water. Drain and toss with the sauce. If you like, sprinkle over the Parmesan to serve.

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