- 4 garlic cloves
- A handful of basil, leaves only
- 1kg mini san marzano tomatoes
- 400g stale bread
Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 35 mins
1. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Tear roughly half of the basil leaves into small pieces.
2. Remove any vines or tops from the tomatoes, then tip the tomatoes into a large bowl and pop a clean tea towel on top. Slide your hands under the tea towel and tear and squash the tomatoes into small pieces, using the tea towel as protection from any escaping tomato juice.
3. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into a large pan and warm to a medium heat. Add the sliced garlic to the hot pan and cook for 1-2 mins, till starting to turn golden. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and their juices, and add the torn basil leaves. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Once the tomatoes are simmering, turn the heat down and cook gently for 15 mins.
4. While the tomatoes are cooking, tear or cut the stale bread into small, bite-sized pieces. After the tomatoes have cooked for 15 mins, add the bread to the pan. Stir well – the bread will absorb lots of the sauce and develop a thick consistency. Pour in 200ml cold water. Turn the heat to very low and cook for a further 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and add 4-5 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature, dividing between bowls and finishing with the remaining basil leaves. This makes a light starter for four people and a heartier meal for two.