Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tomato Sauce With Onions And Butter

This recipe blew the mind of some of blogdom's top food bloggers last year.  This simple recipe! You can make it with ingredients most of you will probably have in your pantry, although you must use San Marzano tomatoes.  Don't skimp, most grocery stores have them.  You will find it doesn't even need Parmesan Cheese,  Try it without, then if you must add some, and don't be tempted to add anything else. The flavor of the sauce is so delicate, fresh and sweet that it needs nothing at all.

Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti

Printable Recipe


28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)*

5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter

1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved

Salt to taste

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste (you might find, as I did, that your tomatoes came salted and that you didn’t need to add more) and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese to pass.

Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking
Via Smitten Kitchen (Photos)


  1. The best things in life are like this, simple with little need of embellishment.

  2. I simply adore rich tomatoey sauces and also onions. The butter I'll have to get used to. And I will because I am going to make this and can't wait to taste it ladled (lovingly) over a plate of spaghetti.



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