While we love a good bolognese sauce on our pasta, often we feel like something a little lighter. This simple and healthy smoky pasta sauce recipe ticks so many boxes for a family meal, particularly a midweek one, and despite the name, you don’t need to fire up the BBQ or wrestle with open flames.

It’s on high rotation here because:

✅ There’s very little preparation needed

✅ It takes less than 30 minutes to cook

✅ It uses mainly pantry ingredients

✅ It’s a simple way to up your vegetable intake, which is no mean feat with fussy kids

✅ It’s leftover-friendly – make extra sauce for the freezer or reheat what you don’t eat the next day

This recipe easily feeds a family of four and tastes even better alongside a fresh green salad.

You will need

  • 2 x 400g cans of cherry tomatoes
  • 4  garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of baby capers (optional)
  • 400-500g of spaghettini or spaghetti (500g if feeding four adults)
  • Fresh Parmesan, grated
  • Basil leaves
  • Chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

What you do

Lightly fry the garlic in 2 tbsp of olive oil until golden, then add the cherry tomatoes, paprika, sugar and capers if using. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced, breaking down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as the sauce cooks.

Meanwhile, boil lots of salty water in a large saucepan and cook the pasta until al dente (usually only 5 minutes for spaghettini). Toss the pasta in the smoky tomato sauce with fresh basil, chilli flakes and freshly grated parmesan to serve.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. […] Canned tomatoes – like fresh tomatoes, the canned type are low in calories and packed with fibre and vitamin C. They trump the fresh type though when it comes to the antioxidant lycopene, which has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular (eye) degeneration. They are the star ingredient in our smokey tomato pasta sauce recipe. […]



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30 minute meals, Dinner, Lunch, Pasta & Noodles, Vegetables, Vegetarian


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