Marcella Hazan's Buttery Tomato Sauce Recipe from Mom


A simple and satisfying tomato sauce recipe made with just four ingredients.

Marcella Hazan's Buttery Tomato Sauce Recipe from Mom

This is my mom’s famous tomato sauce, or rather the famous tomato sauce that she introduced us to. Brightly flavoured and rich tasting it’s one of my favourite recipes and just about the simplest spaghetti sauce you’ll ever make.

The recipe is a classic by legendary Italian cookbook author, Marcella Hazan. It’s all over the Internet but mom introduced the recipe to us long before I ever stumbled upon it online.

The sauce is quirky in a couple of ways. It includes butter and the onion is simply cut in half and simmered in the sauce, then removed before serving. There is no garlic.

A simple and satisfying tomato sauce recipe made with just four ingredients.

Mom's tip: The sauce is exquisite on its own but lends itself to additions as well. Mom likes to add a little garlic and a generous pinch of fennel seeds near the end of cooking.

This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

Mom and Marcella’s Buttery Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • One 28-oz can of tomatoes, including juices or 2 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes, peeled*
  • 5 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  •  1 ½ tsp. salt

Instructions:
  1. Chop the tomatoes and toss them in a pot along with their juices. Add butter, onion and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  2. Remove onion before serving.
  3. Don’t toss the onion! As the onion cooks in the buttery sauce it develops a wonderful flavour so deserves to be devoured. You can chop the cooked onion and add it back into the sauce, serve it alongside your plate of pasta (my favourite) or save it for another recipe.

*To peel ripe tomatoes: bring a pot of water to a boil, cut an “x” in the bottom of each tomato and slide them into the boiling water for about a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and peel.

Oven-roasted tomato sauce is another summer favourite. Get my recipe here.



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