‘Five’ pasta sauce

‘Five’ pasta sauce

Thrive on Five
Dan Jones

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. This rich tomato and mushroom pasta sauce contains no unusual ingredients but packs in all your five-a-day in a very unassuming way. Add meatballs, if you want.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, very finely chopped, (160g)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium carrot, very finely chopped, (80g)
2 small celery sticks, very finely chopped, (80g)
1 small leek, trimmed and very finely sliced, (80g)
1 red pepper, very finely chopped, (160g)
160g mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
10g tomato puree
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 tablespoons red wine
230g can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
bouquet garni of basil stalks, parsley stalks, bay leaf, sprigs of thyme

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
30g parmesan cheese, shaved or finely grated
a few basil leaves


  1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes before adding the carrot, celery, leek, pepper, mushrooms and salt. Cook for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the tomato purée and cook for one minute before adding the flour. Stir for two minutes before adding the red wine. When the wine has evaporated, add the tomatoes, sugar and bouquet garni and pour in 150ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes until reduced, rich and flavourful.
  3. Remove the bouquet garni and serve with your pasta of choice, sprinkled with the Parmesan and basil.
five a day
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