Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter

This sauce is absolute delicious simplicity and I could easily, and I almost did, eat the entire batch just out of a bowl and forget about even putting it on pasta.  This sauce didn’t need added cheese or spices…I’m telling you, this sauce is just AMAZING!

IMG_3632eIt’s Crazy Cooking Challenge time again and this month our hostess Tina of Moms Crazy Cooking challenged the participating bloggers to search non-celebrity blogs looking for the ultimate spaghetti with red sauce recipe.  Once we find what we think is the ultimate recipe we are to make and feature that recipe and the blog where we found it.  This month I *KNOW* that I found the ultimate spaghetti with red sauce recipe as I’ve read the panegyric accolades of Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter on so many blogs including More than Burnt Toast, My Italian Grandmother, Orangette, Shockingly Delicious and numerous others, well I just had to make her sauce and highlight it. 

This recipe is crazy easy with only three ingredients and it’s essentially hands off simple as there’s no slicing, dicing, mincing or messing around with fancy ingredients.  I’m telling you too, if you’re a cook and you’re used to adding and subtracting ingredients and spicing to fit your tastes and trust me, I do it all the time, DON’T DO IT!  Make this recipe as written and you will be rewarded with a perfectly balanced creamy sauce where the taste of the tomato shines through and the butter gives a richness and gorgeous silky mouth feel.  Even better, this sauce freezes beautifully so make a big batch and freeze some for later use. 

IMG_3635eMarcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter

  • One 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • Kosher salt

Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a medium sized, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered at a very slow and steady simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 45 minutes or until droplets of fat float free from the tomato. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and salt as needed. Discard the onion. Serve over cooked pasta.


My previous Crazy Cooking Challenge entries:
Chocolate Cake Challenge:  Double Chocolate Meyer Lemon Mousse Cake
Chicken Noodle Soup Challenge: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup 
Fudge Challenge: Biscoff Fudge 
Mashed Potato Challenge: Aloo Tikki 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Challenge: Chocolate Chip Gingersnaps 
Mac & Cheese Challenge: Velvety Mac & Cheese 



  1. I almost made this recipe too but I already had almost the exact one from Giada. So I picked something with bacon in it. Glad you cooked this one.

  2. My father-in-law adds nearly a stick of butter to his sauce {it's a big batch, mind you} and it's always completely mouthwatering. I love it!

    Stopping by from CCC

  3. Marcella has the best recipes - will definitely give it a try as is. Thanks for sharing!!

    I hope you'll stop by an visit my CCC - Spaghetti Pie


  4. I can't believe there's only 3 ingredients! Awesome.

  5. That sounds easy enough to throw together! YUM!! My recipe is #77. Come visit me and see my delicious Spaghetti Pie!

  6. Nice choice in tomato's that is the kind I always use........nice andi

  7. What?!?! Only 3 ingredients? This sounds like a must try. Found you through the Challenge.

  8. This is too easy! We all need recipes like this for those nights when we don't really feel like cooking. I think we can handle a recipe like this on those nights!
    Jen #19

  9. What an easy recipe, sounds delicious. I love your pictures.

  10. It's hard to believe there are two, count them!, two, geniuses in this Challenge and we made the same recipe! Albeit, by different means. It's amazing how three ingredients can alter your way of dressing up spaghetti. Thanks for stopping by. Look forward to future visits between us! I'm #28.

  11. I love the easiness of this sauce! I've never heard of it before but it looks really delicious! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Happy Crazy Cooking Challenge Day!

  12. Sounds very simple, I like simple. Thanks for stopping by my blog - #18

  13. Love the colors.
    Visiting from ccc #65. Do visit.

  14. I love the idea of adding butter... sounds so rich and creamy! I was having problems being able to post replies to comments and switched to Safari for my internet viewer. Now I can reply to comments.

  15. I can't believe how simple this is. I know I'd find it so hard to resist throwing in a few herbs or spices!

  16. That looks so easy to make, and I know we'd love it since it has butter in it! Thanks for sharing the recipe and for stopping by my blog during the CCC!

  17. Thanks for stopping by my blog for the CCC challenge! This sauce looks way TOO easy! Will have to give it a try soon! New follower!

  18. This is my go to quick and easy sauce when I don't want to spend all day playing with seasons and simmering. It's so good ;-)
    Gotta love the easy! :)

  19. Oh my goodness 3 Ingredients!? This sounds amazing!

  20. Wow, I have never seen this before, it looks amazing, and simple, and healthy?!?! This was such a fun challenge thanks for stopping by my link (69)!


  21. I have been putting butter in my sauce for years after learning my sister-in-law's Italian grandmother sneak it in the pot. It adds so much to the sauce.

    Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

    Wende, #68
    The Rickett Chronicles

  22. 3 ingredients for red sauce amazing.....never heard of. one of my grandmother's uses only butter in her gravy.
    thanks for stopping by my blog!

  23. I love this recipe. It's so simple, but really delicious.

  24. Looks great! I am visiting from the Crazy Cooking Challenge. This has been so fun. Hope to see you next month!

  25. Thanks for checking out my entry, #74. This looks so simple!! Yum!

  26. YUM!!!!

    I was #7 Have a Happy Friday :)

  27. What a simple and delicious looking sauce!

  28. This sauce looks so good and so easy!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Visiting from CCC#61.

  29. So simple! I've never thought of putting butter in my sauce. I'll be trying that next time!

    Tina decided that I hadn't fulfilled the requirements of the challenge, so she excluded me from the linky party. Check out my post and see what you think!

  30. I've been meaning to try Marcella Hazan's sauce recipe - and it looks amazing!!

  31. I add butter to my regular sauce as well. So good.

  32. Wow, super simple! Love that. I wonder how tasty it would be if you sub the butter for olive oil instead, since we have some dairy allergies in the house... Do you think it would loose the creaminess? or perhaps I can use a vegan butter sub instead.

    1. Heather, the sauce WILL lose its creaminess if made without the butter. By replacing the butter with olive oil, you're really making a basic marinara sauce, which it is still delicious it's not the same as this sauce. When I made this sauce I actually made a basic marinara sauce for Maisie as she has a dairy allergy so couldn't enjoy the sauce with butter. It was easy to just have two pots simmering side-by-side and I made rice pasta for all of us so to Maisie it looked like we were all enjoying the same meal. I have never tried this with vegan "butter" but I personally don't care for the flavor of it so I'll let you or someone else give that one a try. Good luck and let me know.

  33. What a great, simple recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Neat trick with the onion - using it but tossing it instead of chopping or puree-ing into the sauce.

  35. I love San Marzano tomatoes, so this has to be delicious.

  36. Lisa, thanks for linking this in and Happy Thanksgiving to you and all yours!


I love and adore your wonderful comments, so please don't be shy and let me know that you visited.

I also love responding to your comments but I can't do that if you're a no-reply blogger. Please link your e-mail up to your profile so that I can reply to you.

It's a simple change and here's how you do it.

1. From your PROFILE, go to your DASHBOARD.
5. Enter in your e-mail address.

Easy-peasy and now I can reply to all your e-mails and questions!

Related Posts with Thumbnails