Classic tomato ragu

Three versions of this recipe are available to download including a standard recipe, a presentation and a step by step with photographs.


1 onion

1 clove garlic

1x15ml spoon oil

2 x 400g canned chopped tomatoes

handful of fresh basil

black pepper 


Knife, chopping board, garlic press, measuring spoons, saucepan, wooden spoon, saucepan.


  1. Peel and chop the onion and peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Fry the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes, until soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes and tear in the basil leaves.
  4. Add a few twists of black pepper, then allow to simmer gently for 30 minutes (longer if possible).


You may wish to serve the tomato ragu with pasta if so:

  1. after 15 minutes, put a large saucepan of water on to boil. When rapidly boiling, add the pasta and cook for around 10 minutes until al dente;
  2. drain;
  3. mix the cooked pasta and tomato sauce together.

Top tips:

  • Use dried herbs if you do not have fresh.
  • Add ½ red chilli, for a sauce with a kick.
  • Add 75g mushrooms and 75g courgette, after stage 2, for a simple veggie sauce.
  • Add and brown 200g minced beef after stage 2 for a simple meat sauce.
  • Stir-in black olives and tuna.
  • Pour the basic sauce over white fish, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes until golden.


Why not use the Explore Food calculator, the British Nutrition Foundation's free online nutritional analysis programme, to calculate the nutritional information for this and other Food - a fact of life recipes?

Food skills:

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Cut, Chop, Slice, Dice & Trim
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Fry & Sauté
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Melt, simmer and boil

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