Spaghetti pomodoro with olives

  • 26 Feb 2016
  • Reading time 1 min
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Typical of southern Italy, this dish is healthy, quick and colourful. You can use fresh tomatoes in summer but substitute canned tomatoes in winter when we do not have the lovely ripe tomatoes which are available in Puglia for most of the year.

This recipe makes about 300ml (10 fl oz) sauce so you might be able to keep some for another day. It’s certainly a useful standby whenever tomato sauce is required. It also freezes very well.

Serves 2


  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 700g (1.5 lb) fresh tomatoes, skinned and sliced, or 2 x 400g (14oz) cans tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped basil
  • spaghetti (to serve 2)
  • 16 - 20 small black olives


  1. Put the onion and garlic in a saucepan and barely cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for about five to seven minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and seasoning and return to the boil.
  2. Lower the heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes in a partially covered pan so that the sauce reduces, but keep an eye on it to make sure that it does not burn. Stir in the basil. Use the sauce as it is, or puree if you prefer a smoother texture.
  3. Cook the pasta as directed on the pack and drain well. Toss with the olives, spoon the tomato sauce over the top and serve.

From The Optimum Nutrition Cookbook by Patrick Holford and Judy Ridgeway (£15.99, Piatkus)

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