So delighted to have devised a great recipe for my son’s second favourite pasta dish through trial and error. I have made it twice and it’s been a resounding success. Until now we had always ordered it from our local pizza parlour!

Good with a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette. Note the dish is quite sweet so better to go for a pure vinegar rather than a sweet one.

3 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
3 tsp dried basil
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
Half a teaspoon chilli flakes/or 2 dried chilli peppers, crushed
a box of on the vine cherry tomatoes
tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
handful of fresh basil
handful of grated parmesan cheese
pinch of salt and black pepper to taste
olive oil
300g penne or other short pasta


Mist the pan with olive oil and fry the onions and garlic.
Put the penne on to boil
Add the dried oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme. Let cook a bit.
Add the chilli flakes/crushed dried chillies
Chop the cherry in two. Add to the pan and let cook.
Using a ladle, add 3-4 scoops of pasta water to the dish
Cook more
Reduce the heat, and mash the tomatoes into the sauce using a potato masher or fork.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Add the dried and fresh basil
Add 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Stir.
Mix the pasta with sauce and garnish with more fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan cheese.

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