Marcella Hazan's recipe for this tomato sauce is as simple--and delicous--as it gets. With only three ingredients--butter, onion and good quality canned tomatoes--this sauce simmers for just under an hour but tastes like it has been cooking all day.
Hello there, Friends!
Do you still remember me? I hope so. I am currently on a partial blogging hiatus, but I am going to do my best to pop in from time to time with a new blog post. So here I am!
I have not been able to get organized enough to make any holiday-themed recipes leading up to Thanksgiving, but since we all need to eat in the days leading up to the biggest food holiday of the year, I will be the food blogger who shares a few easy everyday recipes with you. As you can see, I am also taking the easy route with my food photos since Daylight Savings and my DSLR *still* can't get along. Three cheers for Instagram!
I can't believe it has taken me so long to make this recipe. My go-to tomato sauce is my Sugo di Pomodoro, but since I have known about Marcella Hazan's recipe for Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion for a long time, I figured I better get my act together and make it. After all, pasta sauces are one of my favorite things to make and if you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love spreading the word about making pasta sauces from scratch. Pasta sauce that comes from a jar can't even compare.
Using butter instead of the usual extra virgin olive oil gives this sauce a richer and rounder flavor that cuts through the tomatoes' acidity and brings out their sweetness. The onion halves, which are essentially stewed during the cooking process, subtly perfume the sauce with just the right amount of savoriness. While some tomato sauces benefit from a longer cook time, Marcella's sauce is ready in just under an hour, or a touch longer if you have the time. The result is a thick, luxurious sauce with a delicately creamy texture that clings perfectly to short or long pasta. Marcella's Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion can be doubled easily for big batch cooking and it freezes very well. It's perfect to use for Eggplant Parmigiana and Baked Penne.
Most Italian home cooking recipes are very simple to make and don't rely on complicated techniques, but what they do rely on greatly are quality ingredients. Using quality ingredients will give you a quality end result, so be sure to use the freshest onion, quality butter and a good brand of canned tomatoes. The same rule applies for the pasta you use. A quality brand will have delicious flavor and cook evenly to al dente perfection. And never forget to add a sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Butter & Onion
Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
5 T. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (I love using fire-roasted tomatoes for extra flavor)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat a heavy-bottomed sauce pot over medium heat and add in the butter. Once the butter has competely melted, add in the onion halves and toss them around to coat them with the butter. Add in the crushed tomatoes with all their juices and stir. Note: You may notice that the melted butter separates from the tomatoes initially--this is normal--the butter will incorporate as the sauce cooks.
Cover the pot, leaving just a small portion open for steam to escape. Reduce the heat to low and keep the sauce at a gentle percolating simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring about every 15 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened and finished cooking, add in the salt and stir well to incorporate.
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