A classic French sauce of tomatoes and fresh vegetables adds colour and robust flavour to pasta.

2 small purple onions, peeled, root left intact
150 ml/1/4pint/ 2/3 cup vegetable stock
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
60 ml/4 tbsp red wine
2 courgettes, cut into fingers
1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced
400 g/14 oz can tomatoes
10 ml/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
5 ml/ 1 tsp caster sugar
350 g/ 1 2 oz pappardelle
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme and 6 black olives, stoned and roughly chopped, to garnish
Serves 4
Cut each onion into eight wedges through the root end, to hold them together during cooking. Put into a saucepan with the stock and garlic. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, until tender.
Add the red wine, courgettes, yellow pepper, tomatoes, thyme and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook gently for 5-7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to coat the vegetables with the sauce. (Do not overcook the vegetables as they are much nicer if they are slightly crunchy.)
Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the instructions on the package, until tender. Drain the pasta thoroughly.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and top with the vegetables. Garnish with fresh thyme and chopped black olives.