tomato sauce with onion and butter

Tomato sauce needn’t be complicated. Such is the philosophy of Marcela Hazan’s recipe. I can certainly vouch for this.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of “best” recipes.  As in, “the best orange chicken” or “the best sweet potato mash in the world!” I’ve tried them, and no, they were not the best.  Naturally, I was reluctant to try this tomato sauce after seeing that it was being labeled as “the best”.

Then, I saw some well-respected and trusted food bloggers raving about it. Including Deb from Smitten Kitchen. I trust her taste, as I’ve had some successes with her recipes before. And so, I tried it.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter (adapted from Essentials of Italian Cooking via Smitten Kitchen)
Serves 4


28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled canned San Marzano tomatoes
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 over medium heat.
Bring 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, gently crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat, discard onion, add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare pasta.

This might be one of the very few recipes I didn’t play around with. No additions, no tweaks, no substitutions. And it was marvelous. Rich and sweet (but not overly). As soon as I tasted the sauce while cooking in the pot, I just knew this was it; my newest cooking staple. I could also tell that this was going to be in heavy rotation by the constant licking of the spoon every few minutes or so. It was too good not to.

So was it “the best”? I’ll just say this: It’s easily my favorite tomato sauce.

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23 responses to “tomato sauce with onion and butter”

  1. colleen says:

    and such an easy recipe! thanks for passing this along.

  2. Much to My Delight says:

    Oh man, it must be the butter. So few ingredients but butter will always push something over the top. Glad you discovered my blog, so I got to discover yours. Excited to follow along as I love peeking into the lives of other New Yorkers!!

    Jenn

  3. sherri lynn says:

    I'm always wary of "best" recipes too. But this looks so simply perfect!

  4. Gloria says:

    Well I'm sold – making this for dinner very soon!

  5. rolala says:

    I'm always looking for new sauce recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Vanessa says:

    I use this recipe from time to time as well. When I first made it I couldn't believe how delicious it was since there were so few ingredients. But yowza… So good.

  7. Bekuh says:

    Hmm I'm going to have to try this, it looks simple and yummy and I love tomato sauce. Like the one food I'd bring on a stranded island love it.

  8. Lena at A Crimson Kiss says:

    This has been on my list, too–I can't wait to try it!

  9. Monica says:

    wow, you even discard the onions?!

    i can't imagine a tomato sauce without herbs!!!! ok ok, i'll try this one when i get home and let you know.

  10. jillian m. says:

    Monica, yes, give it a try! I was a bit skeptical about a tomato sauce without any olive oil or garlic, but this came out very well. I absolutely loved it.

    And yes, I was all for discarding the onion. I loathe onions. I like onion flavor, but I hate the texture. Just can't do it! Although, I saw some reviews where people left the onion in, so that's always an option.

  11. LatteLisa LisaHjalt says:

    love the simplicity of this one,
    thanks for sharing

    PS. I think everyone wants to live in that gorgeous beach house in Something's Gotta Give 😉

  12. Punctuation Mark says:

    like Julia said… everything tastes better with butter

  13. Alena: Oh, Its Just Perfect! says:

    Butter truly makes everything better, but I stick to vegan butter. I wonder if it will taste the same…well, I'll let you know!

  14. jillian m. says:

    So right. Butter DOES make everything taste better. Such a shame that large amounts of it aren't good for our health. Because if I could, I'd use it everyday.

  15. The Demoiselle says:

    love that…baby onions get so sweet and tender…may need to try this with bab onions or shallots. Yum.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Oh my goodness, this looks delicious! I was able to make a lot of tomato sauce from the tomatoes in our garden last year. I'm going to have to pin the recipe for this year!

  17. Michelle's Style File says:

    Looks great- thank you for sharing.

    x
    Michelle
    http://www.michellesstylefile.blogspot.com

  18. Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies says:

    This looks so good. We have a veggie garden, and make our own tomato sauce throughout the summer. Homemade tastes so much better than store-bought every time!

    *Erin

  19. Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies says:

    This looks so good. We have a veggie garden, and make our own tomato sauce throughout the summer. Homemade tastes so much better than store-bought every time!

    *Erin

  20. Popcorn, Pugs & Peonies says:

    This looks so good. We have a veggie garden, and make our own tomato sauce throughout the summer. Homemade tastes so much better than store-bought every time!

    *Erin

  21. little t says:

    Yum- sometimes it is the simplest things in life that are the best :)

  22. Ashley says:

    Oh wow! That's a bold statement!! I'll have to try it then :)

  23. kristina says:

    my mouth just watered, seriously it did…
    xx, kristina

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