Skip to content
February 4, 2010 / missallaneous

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions

Just thinking about this sauce takes me back to Rome.

The smells of a fresh, ripe, red tomatoes; the cacophony of Campo de’ Fiori early in the morning; the irritation of the Italian farmer waiting for me to pull out my Euros.

I gotta try this.

Just three ingredients.

In a single pot.

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

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

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.

The flavor of the sauce is so delicate, fresh and sweet that it need(s) nothing at all.

I’m so drawn by it’s simplicity and its pared down nature. Can’t wait to give it a go.



Leave a Comment
  1. chenster22 / Feb 5 2010 2:51 pm

    wow… this sounds so simple. i’m definitely going to have to try it

  2. kozu / Feb 5 2010 3:25 pm

    sounds good…………..

  3. missallaneous / Feb 8 2010 3:16 am

    Doesn’t it?! :)

  4. juen nin / Feb 9 2010 8:13 am

    i like how you say it’s just 3 ingredients.

    but i saw the peeled tomatoes!

    (i’m preparing to return to the student diet again :D)

  5. missallaneous / Feb 9 2010 8:19 am

    But the tomatoes come from the can!

  6. chenster22 / Feb 9 2010 2:32 pm

    i went out and bought the ingredients and tried it that night… it turned out incredible! definitely will be my base sauce when i make spaghetti with meatballs again :P

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: