Heat the olive oil in a stockpot. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until they soften and are just beginning to turn golden. Add the tomatoes, chilli and basil, and cook for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have melted into a sauce. Mash them up with a wooden spoon if necessary.
Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and, with a wooden spoon, stir to coat them. Add about 4 cups of hot water and stir. Cover, and as soon as it comes to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Take the lid off for the last 15 minutes or so of the cooking time. Add a little more water if necessary and adjust the seasoning. The potatoes should be soft, creamy, but still whole, and covered in a fairly thick sauce.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
© 2003 Tessa Kiros. All rights reserved.