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This is a lovely thick and smooth sauce that is easily made from a glut of fresh ripe tomatoes. It’s great for pasta sauces but can also be used as a part of a marinade or to give a rich tomato flavour to curries, soups and stews. Once made, the cooled passata will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze away in smaller quantities for up to 2 months.

  • Makes: 1 litre

  • Prep time: 10 mins

  • Cooking time: 50 mins

  • Total time: 1 hr

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Mid-price

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For a richer tomato flavour add 1-2 tbsp sundried tomato paste to the pan with the vinegar and sugar.


  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1.5kg ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Few fresh basil leaves
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2tsp caster sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large deep pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 mins until very soft. Transfer to a food processor or blender and process to a smooth paste.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil to the pan and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 20-25 mins until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy. Cool for 10 mins then push through a sieve to make a smooth tomato sauce.
  3. Return the onion paste and tomato sauce to the pan with the vinegar and sugar and simmer gently for 10-15 mins, stirring, until you have a thick passata. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool then store in clean jars or sealable containers in the fridge.

By Nichola Palmer

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Nutritional information

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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Fusilli recipe with tomato, mozzarella, garlic and basil – Italian Cuisine

  • 300 g whole wheat fusilli
  • 300 g tomato sauce (fresh, in season)
  • 50 g mozzarella
  • basil
  • salt
  • aged black garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil

For the fusilli recipe with tomato, mozzarella, garlic and basil, boil the fusilli in plenty of boiling salted water. Cook the tomato puree in a non-stick pan for about 10 minutes. Turn off and complete with a pinch of salt and about 40 g of oil. Drain the pasta and pour it into the pan with the sauce. Let it cook for 1 minute, then serve it, adding the chopped mozzarella, the crushed garlic in cream and the basil leaves.
Recipe by Davide Oldani

IT Milan: trend with spaghetti with tomato sauce – Italian Cuisine

IT Milan: an illuminating example of how a "cool" restaurant in the heart of fashionable Brera can serve good Italian cuisine, without style exercises or contamination whatsoever. The secret? Experience in the field, a good team and the menu of Gennarino Esposito

Milan has a feature: it is full of beautiful places where you can eat so well (or just bad), but also places that need a refresh (and better service). Let's talk about the mid-range, the one with a cost between 70 and 100 euros, wines included: it is evident that above is almost all perfect; and God forbid. Many people say that it is almost impossible today to find the right balance between the "cool" environment and the quality of service (a book could be written about this) and cooking: dishes made with carefully chosen ingredients, prepared with class. And listen, hear Italians. Without miso broths, yuzu, wakame. Which, for heaven's sake, we like them too, but only if we read the presence in the map of a Chinese restaurant or a ramen-bar. The most recent venue that should be studied by those who intend to open one is called IT Milan. It is located in Brera – a neighborhood of very high average and mediocre places, obviously expensive – at 32 Via Fiori Chiari where there was the Gondrand Palace.

It is the second local

Those who frequent the Balearics will have noticed that the same sign shines in Ibiza. The founder Alessio Matrone, in 2015, opened the first restaurant on Botafoch Marina. He followed the "Ibiza style", like a thousand other Italian entrepreneurs who tried their hand on those islands, but he focused on our kitchen. Particularly that of the South flanked by Spanish proposals and some international dishes. All discounted, except that he asked for the advice from Gennaro Esposito, that beyond the two Michelin stars, it is extraordinary to find the right menu for the right place, executed by the right people. See the work done on Mammà in Capri, one of the most cheerful and enjoyable of all. With hundreds of seats at the service, among other things, and not the usual winds.

Three spaces in one

IT Milan still looks superior to us. Always created by Matrone with another entrepreneur – Ferruccio De Lorenzo – it could be in London (where the third local of the chain will open in September) or New York, but it's in Milan: 800 square meters of surface, non-forced interior design, recalls the 60s, soft and rounded shapes of the seats. A "warm" environment, divided into three areas that have their own light: the bistro for lunch or an aperitif, the restaurant itself, the lounge on the lower floor for private events or after dinner. There is excellent background music (in how many "trendy" places is it apt, by the way?) and a team of professionals to drive the car, already well within a few weeks of the opening: Carlo Tinelli (general manager), Savio Bina (restaurant manager ), Giacomo Morlacchi (head sommelier). And as an executive chef, here is an already experienced thirty like Aldo Ritrovato, arrived from not far Bulgari and a past from commis (not surprisingly) to the Torre del Saracino.

Southern flavors

We bring you something from the menu, as stated by the great Gennarino. Ventresca of seared tuna, smoked aubergines and balsamic vinegar; Mixed pasta soup, shellfish and rock fish (never tasted? bad); Spaghetti with pomorodo; Scorpion fish with Controne beans and scampi; Flagfish; Zucchini alla scapece, the Babà of the house … But there is also the Milanese veal cutlet. All good, direct, sunny; without style exercises and not even a contamination. Those who feel trendy will like it, but also those who follow nothing but their palate, spending an average of 70 euros to infinity based on the choice in the cellar. But it is not a miracle in Milan. Just think about it and understand (a minimum) of premises and cuisine.