When they are ripe and sweet, buy a big batch of cherry tomatoes, to make double or triple the quantity of sauce. It takes a while to cook – just over an hour – but it keeps in the fridge for 5 days and freezes for up to a month. The ancho chilli adds a lovely smoky richness, but can be replaced by ¼ tsp sweet smoked paprika if you have this to hand rather than ancho. Alternatively, if you don’t want the kick, leave the chilli out altogether.
75ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1kg cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ tsp caster sugar (or a bit more or less, depending on the sweetness of the tomatoes)
1 dried ancho chilli, torn apart
20g basil leaves
400g fettuccine (or linguine)
35g Parmesan, finely grated
1. Put the oil into a large sauté pan and place on a medium high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and fry for up to 1 minute, stirring a few times, until starting to caramelise. Add the tomatoes – carefully, so that the oil doesn’t spit – along with the sugar, chilli and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour over 200ml of water and stir for 4 minutes, until the tomatoes are starting to break down and the liquid is bubbling. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 1 hour, stirring every once in a while, until the tomatoes and ancho have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the basil and set aside somewhere warm.
2. Fill a large saucepan with plenty of salted water and place on a high heat. Bring to the boil, then add the pasta. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain the pasta and stir it together with the sauce. Divide among 4 bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve.
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