Pasta with Mediterranean sauce

I didn’t think pasta was a big part of people’s diets in 1948, however there is a whole section for pasta and rice. My gran did say that she doesn’t recall having pasta back then, but apparently the first ever written record of pasta with tomato sauce is in a 1790 cookbook. The pasta recipes in this book differ immensely from the types of pasta dishes we find in more modern books, they are real classic pasta dishes.


Any type of pasta
2 medium onions chopped
1.5oz butter or 2-3tbsp oil
1 clove crushed garlic
15oz can chopped tomatoes
5oz can tomato paste
1tsp dried rosemary or marjoram
1tsp sugar
4oz mushrooms sliced

Cook the pasta as per packet instructions. Fry the onions gently in 1oz butter for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, sugar and seasoning, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Fry the mushrooms gently for about 3 minutes in the remaining butter and add to the sauce. Adjust seasoning and serve over cooked pasta.

According to the book Italians would recommend 3-4oz per person but in this country 1.5-2oz is considered sufficient! Think I’m with the Italians on this one!! This recipe should be enough for four, well we ate the whole lot between 2 adults and a child. Maybe my sauce to pasta ratio is different to what the book would recommend!

This resulted in a beautifully rich tomato sauce. I couldn’t find a specific tomato paste so used passata and I used rosemary. It was lovely and thick and aromatic with the rosemary. Obviously there are hundreds of variations but for purposes of my blog I stuck exactly to the recipe.

Would I make it again? Yes, can’t beat a great tomato sauce

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