Recipe: Tomato pasta sauce

Surprise someone with a care package

Who doesn’t like receiving nice parcels? Care packages show that the joy of giving doesn’t need to be restricted to birthdays or Christmas. 

October’s issue of The Simple Things includes a few ideas for putting together care packages – and this simple tomato sauce recipe is one of the suggestions for inclusion in the House Party package. It’s a great addition for a hand-delivered package – especially for a time-pushed recipient. A quick dinner solution, this is technically a pasta sauce, but try it added to a tin of beans to make fancy baked beans. We’ve also heard that it’s pretty tasty straight out of the jar…

Serves two as a pasta sauce for dinner
10 plum tomatoes,
halved lengthways olive oil, for drizzling
balsamic vinegar,  for drizzling
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
5 basil leaves, torn in two, plus extra whole leaves for bottling

1 Preheat your oven to 160°C. Pop your tomato halves into a lined baking dish and season well with salt and pepper. Pour a generous glug of olive oil over each tomato, then follow suit with about one-third of the amount of balsamic. Mix the tomatoes, oil and vinegar together with your hands.
2 Add the garlic cloves and top each tomato half with a basil leaf half. Roast for an hour, checking every 20 minutes and rotating the dish to ensure even cooking, if necessary. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
3 When the tomatoes have cooled, spoon into a clean glass jar (or jars), adding a few extra basil leaves to the sauce, preferably where they can be seen. 
4 Fasten the lid and have fun decorating the jar, or make it a label or tag to match your care package. This will last up to a week in your refrigerator – if you don’t eat it before then!

Tip - stuff in a baguette with Fior Di Latte cheese and fresh basil leaves, or mix with a tin of cannellini, lima or haricot beans for homemade fancy baked beans. 

See page 80 of October’s issue for more care package suggestions. 

Recipe from Care Packages by Michelle Mackintosh (Hardie Grant). Photography by Chris Middleton.