Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

So, I was super excited to tell you about this amazing, simple recipe for one of the best tomato sauces I’ve ever had.  And then I googled it, to make it easier for me to include here, instead of typing it out from the cookbook.  Turns out I’m kind of late to the party.  Everyone and their mother has been talking about how awesome this sauce is, since, like, before I was born.  Ok, then. 

But just in case you’re like me and you haven’t tried this recipe from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking, I’m going to share it with you now.  Because after you make this, you will wonder why people spend hours simmering pots of tomato sauce with herbs, garlic, the best, most expensive olive oil.  This beats it.  At least for me.  I love the way it tastes like you’re eating a tomato right off the vine.  Except that really, it’s like eating a tomato, off the vine, dipped in butter.  And if you think that doesn’t sound good, I respectfully suggest that maybe we’re not on the same page and there may be other food blogs out there for you.

I could go on and on about this sauce, but since apparently there are many, many, many other people who have, I will cut to the chase with the recipe.  If you stop reading now, you’ll still have time to go make this in time for dinner tonight.  Now go! Godspeed!  We will talk about how fabulous this was later!

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter


Adapted from Essentials of Italian Cooking

You can use fresh tomatoes, too, if you like, but unless it’s the end of summer and tomatoes are really incredible, you can’t go wrong with some good canned tomatoes. I’ve made this with pureed canned tomatoes, and the results were just as incredible.  You really can’t go wrong.

2 cups canned tomatoes (about one 28 oz can is fine; use San Marzano if you can find them)

5 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half


Cut up the tomatoes into chunks.  Size isn’t so important because they will break up as they simmer.  I like to use kitchen shears, as in “I stick them in the can and snip away.”  It usually does the job.  Put them in a medium saucepan, along with the butter, onion, and salt to taste.

Simmer for 45 minutes.  Give it a stir with a wooden spoon every ten minutes or so, and break up any big chunks of tomato with the back of your spoon. Correct seasoning with more salt, if necessary.  Remove the onion before serving tossed over pasta… or as Marcella says in her introduction, eating it directly out of the pot with a spoon.

Yes, that is the entire recipe.  I am telling you, go make this now!



Filed under Gluten Free, Pasta

3 responses to “Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

  1. Katie

    Can’t WAIT to try this! I’m always looking for really fresh but easy ways to make my own sauces instead of resigning to the canned stuff. Thanks, friend.

  2. Ok, I had to try this and it turns out it is everybit as good as Christina says it is. I didn’t even use the tomatoes she suggested because they didn’t have them at my grocery store. Amazing! Yummy!

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