I remember calling my grandma the first weeks I was here in London and asking her for her tomato sauce recipe: “it’s really simple Mara, wash the tomatoes, cook them, blend them and conserve the sauce in a jar with a basil leaves on top”. There, that’s all it requires to make an awesome tomato sauce in Italy. And trust me, my grandma sauce is AWESOME, rich in flavour and it smells like tomatoes! :)

Here I find it really hard to find tomatoes with a strong flavour. Once cooked by themselves they lose their taste and become really watery.

So I decided to add few things: cashews, chilli flakes and basil leaves (straight in the cook pan). It’s still different from nonna’s sauce but I can claim a damn good sauce anyway!

Try it and please let me know what you think or if you have the same problem with tasteless tomatoes and what you do to make up for it.


(makes 600gr – takes 40mins – vegan)


- 1kg organic tomatoes

- salt

- few chopped basil leaves

- 100gr cashew

- pinch of chilli flakes (optional)


Start with washing the tomatoes well and cut them in half and then in half again. In this way deseeding them will be easier. Once removed all the seeds, put the tomatoes in a large pan and cook them at medium heat until it starts to boil (more or less 10 minutes), making sure to stir them to not burn them.

tomato sauce

As soon as they start to boil, add the basil, salt and chilli flakes, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Keep cooking the tomatoes for another 20 minutes so they realise their flavour.

tomato sauce

At this point transfer your soft tomatoes in a blender (being careful that it can take the heat), add the cashew (if you’re blender is not super powerful, you can soak the cashew for a couple of hours before so they’re easier to blend) and blend everything. Now you should have a luscious, creamy and slightly orangey tomato sauce!

tomato sauce

I used it as a topping in the pizza, as a filling for the panzerotti, to season my brother’s pasta and even as a dipping sauce!