This classic Italian pasta sauce recipe is quick and easy. Don't pull back on the garlic as it really is the backbone of this simple rustic sauce. Look for local garlic when shopping as the flavour is so much better than the imported varieties.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (10 votes)


  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 220 g onions, chopped
  • 300 g capsicum, sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 x 400 ml cans peeled tomatoes, chopped
  • 300 g pitted olives
  • 300 g champignons (button mushrooms), sliced
  • salt, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Makes approximately 1.5 litres of sauce, enough for 750 g dry pasta.

In a five litre saucepan, heat the oil and add the onion and capsicum. Fry until soft. Add the black pepper, followed by the garlic, basil and tomatoes. Add the olives and mushrooms and salt to taste.

Simmer on a low heat for about 20 minutes. Serve with cooked pasta.