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Native Basil and Tomato Pasta Sauce

Pastas like this always remind me of my husband's 'bachelor cooking' before we were married. Ben and Toby (his older brother) lived together and tomato-based vegie pastas were a regular, and when I visited Ben and I would often throw one together for dinner. It's easy - just whatever veg you have handy, a tin of tomatoes and some tasty herbs - yum! This version serves 2-3 and makes use of the flavoursome Native Basil with a touch of Mountain Pepper.

1 tbsp (a splash) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion
1/2 red capsicum, halved again and finely sliced
1/2 stalk celery, finely sliced
1 small mild chilli (or a small portion of a spicier chilli!)
A couple of handfuls of mushrooms, halved and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 400g tin diced tomatoes
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Native Basil
1/2 tsp Ground Mountain Pepper
Ground sea salt, to taste

Step One

Assemble ingredients and chop onion, celery, capsicum and chilli. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat.

Step Two

Saute garlic, onion and celery for about 1 minute before adding the capsicum and chilli. Saute for another few minutes and in the meantime, slice the mushrooms.

Step Three

Add the mushrooms to the vegetable mix, stir and continue cooking until all the vegetables are soft.

Step Four

Pour in the tin of tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Add the basil and tomato paste, and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. While simmering, put your pasta on to cook.

Step Five

Add Mountain Pepper to the sauce with a pinch of salt. Taste and season further if required.

Step Six

Drain pasta and divide between bowls. Top with a generous serve of sauce and a sprinkling of shredded parmesan if desired. Enjoy :)

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