Cook pasta according to packet directions until al dente. Once ready, drain it straight away.
200 g spaghetti
While the pasta is cooking, pop your passata, olive oil and garlic into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.
400 g passata, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic
Transfer the cooked pasta into a large mixing bowl and drizzle generously with napoli sauce. Or simply transfer pasta to serving plates or bowls, top with napoli sauce and garnish well with Parmesan.
Optional: Garnish with sea salt and cracked black pepper, fresh parsley or basil leaves!
Salt and pepper, fresh parsley or basil leaves
Passata - Always use room temperature passata for the best flavour. You can use a combination of passata and tomato puree or fresh chopped tomatoes for a little extra texture. Sub with San Marzano canned tomatoes (we love Mutti brand), fresh tomatoes, or tomato puree.
Garlic - Fresh and finely chopped garlic will give you the best, freshest flavour. Sub with minced garlic for convenience.
Olive Oil - We recommend extra virgin olive oil but you can use any oil that you prefer.
Grated Parmesan Cheese - Sub with pecorino romano for an extra sharp cheesy bite, or use shredded cheese / whatever cheese you like best or have on hand!
Pasta - We love this sauce with spaghetti or bucatini, but it’ll be amazing with any of your favourite styles and shapes of pasta. Or try it with amped up pasta options like spinach and ricotta cannelloni or stuffed ravioli or tortellini. You can even swap the pasta for zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead, for a lighter option.
Sauce - Stir the sauce while you bring it to the boil. This will heat it through evenly and help stop the bubbling sauce splattering all over your stovetop.
Batch Recipe - Double or triple the recipe to make a big batch to use for other recipes or store for later.
Storage - Napoli sauce will last for 2-3 days in the fridge in an airtight container (possibly longer, but always use your best judgement). Store the pasta and sauce separately if you can, to avoid the pasta swelling and soaking up all the sauce’s liquid. This sauce also freezes well. Store in portions to make it easier to use later on, and use up within 2-3 months for the best flavour.
Add Veggies - This sauce gets nice and hearty when simmered down with sauteed onion, sliced mushrooms, fresh spinach, grated carrot etc.
Fresh Herbs - Add fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, sage or parsley in with the sauce while cooking, or as a garnish once plated up. Avoid dried herbs as they don’t have the same flavour or intensity as real fresh herbs. That said, pesto is a great way to use preserved basil that still has that beautiful fresh basil flavour (not to mention yummy added garlic).
Add Heat - Add crushed chilli flakes / red pepper flakes or sliced fresh chillies to taste.
Add Sweetness - Slowly simmer onions until their natural sweetness is released, before adding the remaining ingredients. Or you could add a sprinkling of sugar until the sauce is sweet enough to your liking.
Decadent Flavour Ideas - Add a splash of red wine in with the sauce while cooking, or cook it down with fried bacon or pancetta. Drained and rinsed capers or sliced olives would add a nice savoury saltiness. Or try it with sliced and fried gourmet Italian sausages, chorizo or a spoonful of 'nduja for even more spicy flavour!