Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

Tomatoes. Onion. Butter.

Seriously. That is all that is in the sauce. Three ingredients. 

When I first saw this adaptation of Marcela Hazan's sauce posted by Smitten Kitchen I was not sure what to think. I wondered if it would just taste like a lump of warm crushed tomatoes or it the simple ingredients allowed the trio to shine when paired with pasta. In reality, there was really only one way to find out the truth behind this popular sauce!

A few notes on this sauce- this is not a marinara sauce. It does not have herbs, wine, garlic or other additions. The flavors are really clean and highlight the main ingredients- tomatoes.  Another note is to make sure you buy a quality canned tomato. I highly recommend getting San Marzano tomatoes because of their flavor. You certainly can use other canned tomatoes, but your flavors will not be as good.  The butter is also key- don't skimp because the sauce relies on the richness from the butter to fully develop the flavor. 

The sauce comes together very fast and only needs about an hour of cooking time to allow you to crush the tomatoes and leave the sauce to thicken. 

I like to eat this sauce with a hearty and thicker pasta. I am also a cheater and sprinkle a touch of grated Romano cheese on my pasta (shhhhhh...haha). 

I really loved this sauce and made it while Ron was out of town because I knew it would not be his cup of tea, and it was something I knew I would love! The sauce makes enough for about a pound of pasta and this is perfect for lunch leftovers tomorrow!

Tonight, we are headed to dinner with my parents to have an early celebration of Ron's birthday since they will not be around on the official day.  We have not decided where we are going yet, but I am hoping for a steak or pasta..... yum! 

Happy Monday everyone! 


28 oz whole peeled canned tomatoes (San Marzano are recommended)
5 Tbl unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt, to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese


Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Turn heat low and keep the sauce at a slow and low simmer for about 45-60 minutes ( you will notice droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes). Stir the sauce occasionally and crush the tomatoes against the side of the pot. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt if you like. Keep warm while you prepare your pasta of choice. Serve sauce over pasta with a bit of grated cheese. 

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