*3 tablespoons rapeseed, vegetable or light olive oil
*3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
*1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
*¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
*½ onion, peeled (not chopped)
*50 g butter (salted or unsalted)
*1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, plus extra to taste
*pinch of sugar (optional)
*150 g dried fettuccine
*50 g feta


*Half a leek, banana shallot, red onion

*Whichever pasta you have to hand

*Salted ricotta, Parmesan, halloumi, pecorino

Chopped tomatoes
*passata , peeled fresh in-season tomatoes


1. First, heat the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over a medium heat for 1–2 minutes until fragrant and beginning to golden (take care not to burn the garlic).

2. Add the tomatoes, chilli flakes, onion half, butter and salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce over a low heat for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Splash in some water if it’s sticking or reducing too much. Remove and discard the onion, then taste the sugo (tomato sauce)for seasoning. You may want to add a pinch of sugar, depending on the acidity of the tomatoes.

4. After 15 minutes of the sugo simmering, bring a large saucepan of water up to the boil and cook the fettucine until al dente (around 9–10 minutes – check packet instructions for exact timing), reserving a mugful of the starchy cooking water.

5. Using tongs, transfer the fettuccine into the tomato sauce, stirring in spoonfuls of the reserved cooking water until coated in the sauce. Taste again for seasoning (bear in mind the feta will add saltiness).

To assemble

Divide the pasta between two plates, then finely grate over the feta to finish.

Extracted from Tin Can Magic by Jessica Elliott Dennison (Hardie Grant, £15, ebook available) Photography © Matt Russel

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