Cooking for the Sensitive Gut

The best tomato sauce for sensitive tummies

My friend Jane Suthering, ex chair of the Guild of Food Writers says one of her favourite simple meals is pasta with tomato sauce flavoured with a little rosemary and garlic.

I agree. I love good home made tomato sauce flavoured with rosemary or any one of the following herbs – bay, oregano, basil, dill and of course garlic. But what to do if garlic and onions upset you?

The best thing is to leave the onions and garlic out for now and flavour the sauce with garlic oil, which can be bought ready made or you can make it yourself (see recipe here). After that the flavour of the sauce needs to be boosted with fragrant herbs and or spices and seasoned well. I tried three variations and each sauce was delicious.

Simple tomato sauce is like an classic item of clothing. It can be dressed up or down and what ever the occasion you can be sure it will always be stunning.

Makes  enough for 2 servings of pasta


  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • ½ stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot finely grated
  • 4 anchovy fillets preserved in oil
  • 400g can plum tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pour the garlic infused olive oil in a saucepan and warm gently. Add the chopped celery, grated carrot and anchovies. Cook  until the anchovies have melted into the sauce and and the celery is soft. Add the plum tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Swirl about 200 ml of water around the can and add to the sauce. Drop in the bay leaves and season well. Cook the sauce gently for 10 minutes with a lid on and a further 5 minutes without a lid. Taste and serve.


  • You can add 50 ml of dry, white wine to the sauce after you have added the celery. This is great if you are using the tomato sauce with fish.
  • In addition to bay you can add any of the following herbs to vary the flavour of the sauce: oregano, rosemary, dill, parsley or basil.
  • For a Middle Eastern theme add half teaspoon each of ground coriander and cumin to the tomato sauce and finish with chopped coriander.
  • Add chopped capers and olives to the sauce to really capture the Mediterranean.
  • You can omit the anchovies but they do pack a great flavour punch.
  • Blitz the sauce with a stick blender to give the sauce a smooth texture.
  • Cook the sauce ‘long and slow’ for really deep flavours and a velvety texture.

Notes: If you serve this sauce with pasta use gluten free pasta.

For more information on IBS follow this link

IBSLogowithstrap March 2011


This entry was written by Joan Ransley and published on October 9, 2014 at 6:45 pm. It’s filed under Basic methods and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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