Rigatoni with slow cooked tomato sauce, balsamic and pecorino

Serves 2 for main course or 4 for starter

An authentic dish that is true a celebration of Italian taste and simplicity. This tomato-based recipe works brilliantly with  to give delicious sweet flavours throughout.


250g Rigatoni (Penne also works)

500ml tomato passata

1 clove garlic (finely sliced)

75g unsalted butter

8 basil leaves

3tbsp Mazzetti Etichetta Bianca Balsamic Vinegar

75g freshly grated Pecorino Stagonata or Parmesan cheese


1. In a hot, large non-stick frying pan melt 50g of the butter and soften the sliced garlic for one minute on a medium heat, being careful not to brown the garlic or the butter. Add half of the basil leaves then add the Mazzetti balsamic vinegar.

2. Reduce for one minute. Add the tomato passata and reduce on a low heat by half. This will take about 20 minutes. Season to your taste.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta for two minutes less than the time on the packet. Take out the pasta with a slotted spoon and add to the tomato sauce in the frying pan, that has been put back on to a medium heat. Add a ladle or two of the pasta water and cook for a further two minutes. The pasta will absorb the sauce, and the starch from the pasta will thicken it too.

4. Toss or stir a few times and add another 25g butter and half of the grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese. Mix well so the cheese is absorbed into the sauce.

5. Serve in hot bowls with a few basil leaves on top, the rest of the Pecorino or Parmesan and a drizzle of Mazzetti balsamic vinegar. Finish with freshly ground black pepper.

Mazzetti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena has landed in the UK for the first time and you can get your hands on their two balsamic vinegars from Sainsbury’s, just in time for Christmas!