Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

By • August 3, 2011 • 203 Comments

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Author Notes: The most famous tomato sauce on the internet, from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Editor's note: Marcella called for 2 cups of tomatoes when using canned, but feel free to use a whole 28-ounce can (closer to 3 cups), if you like. You can scale up the butter and onion, if you like, or don't -- it's genius either way.Genius Recipes

Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta

For the Sauce

  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 2 cups canned imported Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.
  2. Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
  3. Taste and correct for salt. Before tossing with pasta, you may remove the onion (as Hazan recommended) and save for another use, but many opt to leave it in. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table.

Making Fresh Tomatoes Ready for Sauce

  • fresh, ripe plum tomatoes (or other varieties, if they are equally ripe and truly fruity, not watery)
  1. The blanching method: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them into coarse pieces.
  2. The freezing method (from David Tanis, via The Kitchn): Freeze tomatoes on a baking sheet until hard. Thaw again, either on the counter or under running water. Skin them and cut them into coarse pieces.
  3. The food mill method: Wash the tomatoes in cold water, cut them lengthwise in half, and put them in a covered saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Set a food mill fitted with the disk with the largest holes over a bowl. Transfer the tomatoes with any of their juices to the mill and puree.
Jump to Comments (203)

Tags: pasta sauce

Comments (203) Questions (7)

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10 days ago Amy Gutman

When it says "with their juice" for canned tomatoes, does that mean dump in all the puree that's in the can or just the juice that is in the tomatoes themselves?

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10 days ago AlyssaM

They mean just dump the entire contents of the can in the pot!

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2 months ago Julia W.

I love this recipe! If you don't have a food mill, I cut the tomatoes in half and use a grater on the cut side. The largest side of the grater gets you a nice consistency and leaves you with the tomato skin. It really cuts down on prep time!

Stringio

2 months ago Janet Story Susmark

This recipe appeared in the Chicago Tribune on 9/17/14 and it was so simple and I had SO many plum tomatoes ripened from the garden vines that it was a GOTO. I halved the recipe and cooked in a 2 qt. saucepan. Richened and became more flavorful with each bite. I heated up some Trader Joe's meatballs for the side and realized that we had forgotten about them as we ate. Five stars!

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3 months ago stephen mindich

I made the recipe yesterday for a dinner party - I used two 28 oz cans of crushed Italian Plum Tomatoes for 6 adult eaters - added 1 tbs of sugar, 2 bay leaves and after cooking, cut up the onions and left them in the sauce. Tossed it with linguine and served with sides of meatballs and sweet Italian sausages. It was very good, probably a little lighter/creamier than I normally like. I believe the onions made it better). And while none of us had ever made it or knowingly ate it before - it did have a familiar taste - leading us to conclude, given its popularity, we may have had it before at a restaurant. ??? Because it is so easy and tasty I will definitely make it again.

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3 months ago Jill Ann Veneracion

Wonderful recipe. Simple yet delicious and it goes well with grilled eggplants.

Stringio

3 months ago Brenda Feick

Wow I can't wait to try this! My husband is Italian and misses his Moms sauce so I'm gonna give it a shot. Not being the best chef (there's a couple things I've mastered) this sounds way easy for me to make and possibly impress my hubby and maybe even some dinner guests :) I love the fact that you can use can or fresh tomatoes too. Also we both hate onions so nice to see you take it out after.

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4 months ago cmpollard

I made this sauce recently with fresh garden tomatoes, decreasing the butter slightly. It was waiting in the fridge when I harvested three Asian eggplants (about a foot long each and a little over an inch thick.) I sautéed the sliced eggplants (half-inch slices) with a little garlic in olive oil, then stirred in the Marcella tomato sauce and some cooked whole wheat penne. Topped it with some grated parmegianno cheese. Didn't take the time to add chopped herbs, but they would have been welcome. I don't think it's "too early" for this.

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4 months ago s

So is the onion ruined in the process? I am finally going to try this but have always wondered if discarding the onion is a must or if I can chop it and use it in this or another recipe after simmering. Thanks!

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4 months ago cookycat

I made this last night and saved the onion. Today I made a couscous salad and added some of the onion to that. Yum.

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3 months ago CFrance

Why do the pictures of this show the onion on the plate but the directions say to discard it? I would serve it with the sauce, as pictured.

Miglore

3 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Great question -- Hazan originally recommended removing it, but we've come to like leaving it in (and many commenters have discussed the various ways to make use of the onion, below). I've updated the recipe here to reflect both options.

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6 months ago Transcendancing

Wow - what an amazingly simple pasta to make, so rewarding and flavourful. I decided to make this because it looked super easy and it was essentially a pantry dish and I'm just blown away by both the ease and the impact. Definitely going to become a regular in our eating.

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6 months ago Cinnamin

I LOVE this tomato sauce. It doesn't require much but it's rich and flavourful. This was the first thing I made from Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking! A real keeper. I make a big batch and freeze some for a busy day. I tear some basil and sprinkle it over the top once I've spooned the sauce over the pasta.

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6 months ago witloof

I dice up the onion and cook and serve it in the sauce. I also use canned cherry tomatoes from Italy {La Valle brand} and they're exquisite in this. A bay leaf is good, too.

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7 months ago Geri

Simply elegant.

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7 months ago taochild

I made this sauce twice in one week because it's so good. I used canned tomatoes, but I'd like to try it with fresh ripe ones as well. Try it over gnocchi, like she recommended in her book. Delicious!

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7 months ago ATG117

I don't know how in the world it took me this long to decide to make this sauce I've been hearing about for years. It probably has something to do with the fact that I often don't like butter in savory foods (I know, I know). BUT this is such a revelation. I get it now and will never be the same.

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7 months ago kasia S.

It's amazing how some things sound too simple to have such great complexity, I've made this a few times, about to make a batch now to have with some angel hair pasta topped with fresh Parmigiano for lunch.

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8 months ago Pat Rangel

There is no substitute for canned San Marzano tomatoes. Sure they cost more but with only a few ingredients it's worth the trouble. I make my sauce with 2 ea 28 oz cans of the tomatoes and half a rack of baby back ribs. Yum. Take meat off bones before serving.

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6 months ago Charlie

Since it has dairy from the butter it is not recommended that you can it. Dairy products contain fat which insulate botulism spores from heat.

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8 months ago Heidi

Would this recipe be appropriate for canning? I will hopefully have a garden full of tomatoes this summer.

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7 months ago cookycat

I make it with my home grown tomatoes and freeze it. It freezes very well and is like a plate of summer sunshine when I use it in the winter.

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8 months ago KakiSue

This is, indeed, a genius recipe. Uncuous, deep, and full of flavor. It was ready in as much time as it took me to boil and cook the pasta. I did manhandle it a bit in the cooking to aid in the tomato breakdown. Reheated for lunch the next day was wonderful.

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8 months ago Debbi Spencer

I made this two days ago and am reheating it for dinner tonight. I
liked the taste, but was disappointed in the Muir Glen Organic tomatoes. Lots of hard stem end pcs, and many bits of tomato did not cook up soft in spite of simmering about 2-2 1/2 hours (to get the consistency I wanted-I know it was only supposed to be 45 mins.)! I'll look for the San Marzio (or whatever they are!), next time I'm in "the city". I used the diced tomatoes-maybe the whole ones would have been better?
It is a versatile sauce, love the creaminess which reminded me of a vodka sauce; could add whatever spices you wanted at the end. I did add two large cloves of garlic to mine, but don't really taste garlic.
I am not Italian, but we had a very close family friend whose parents were born and raised there and her sauce from "the old country" didn't have spices in it either. She said they added them at the table. It did, however have about 5 pounds of beef and pork roast simmered in it and it was wonderful! I think recipes and techniques differ greatly from region to region in Italy. I don't remember which region they were from...
Thanks for all the answers to my questions here!!

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7 months ago kasia S.

I use the San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes 28oz and comes out perfect every time. It's also okay to customize, you never know what greatness will come out of it.

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8 months ago ski_gpsy

I've been making this sauce ever since Yahoo featured the recipe as "The Easiest Pasta Sauce Ever" or something like that. Back then I was surprised at the number of commenters who hadn't even tried the recipe, but were outraged that it was called "Italian" or "gravy" because it lacked the garlic, meat, spices, or whatever it is they felt "real" Italian sauce must have. I did a little research and found out that this simple recipe has been made in Italy for generations, using either a whole onion or whole garlic, or both.

I also read that the reason for removing the onion and/or garlic is because onions, like garlic and other vegetables in the Allium genus, are not digested in the stomach but rather in the intestines and can cause bloating, which is why many chefs cook with the onions and garlic whole, but then remove them before serving so that their guests don't feel bloated afterwards.

As to the debate over what constitutes "authentic" Italian gravy, my answer is chi se ne frega (who cares?). For heavy cheese dishes like lasagna, manicotti, etc. I like a rich, hearty sauce. But for a lighter meal, this bright flavorful TOMATO sauce that's all about the tomatoes, served over delicate angel-hair pasta with a handful of fresh tender basil leaves is Heaven on a plate.

PS. After America's Test Kitchen chose Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes as their #1 canned tomatoes, I tried them in this recipe instead of my usual San Marzano DOPs and surprisingly the whole family prefers the Muir Glen.

Ashley

8 months ago Ashley Marie

I too am a HUGE Muir Glen Organic tomato fan. We buy the 28oz whole peeled tomatoes in their juices and use it for this sauce as well as our homemade pizza sauce. The main reason I started getting them was because they're one of like two or three "mainstream" companies that don't have BPA in the can lining. Where I'm at, brands like Pomi and Bionature never carry the whole peeled variety that we love. Anyhoo, thanks for the info on "authentic Italian" etc. - Very interesting!

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8 months ago AlyssaM

Oh, and forgot, Debbie, this sauce doesn't need to simmer "for hours" I typically let it go for an hour or a bit less.

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8 months ago AlyssaM

Debbie, yes a medium yellow onion is best, as I've tried it with both white and vidalia and it wasn't as good. Medium onion is larger than the size of a lemon, maybe baseball size, but not softball size. Also, I prefer salted butter to unsalted in this recipe.

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8 months ago cookycat

The best thing about this sauce is that it really tastes like fresh tomatoes from my garden. Like a bit of summer sunshine in my mouth. I had some last night that I made last summer and froze. It was just so good.

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8 months ago Debbi Spencer

I bought the tomatoes to try this recipe tomorrow/ Can't wait to taste it!! I would never have tried it with no seasonings without all the rave reviews. One question-since I have an electric stove it is hard to let anything simmer for hours, even stirring occasionally. Would it work to let it cook in a crock pot (uncovered)? OK, 2 questions! Medium YELLOW onion? Would that be about the size of a lemon? Bigger? Smaller? I'm sure proportion is important in this recipe! Thank you!! (BTW, I was surprised to see this recipe since the only other time I've seen it was in a fiction book I read a year or so ago in which the main character made exactly this-with canned tomatoes- and I thought it sounded much too plain to be a real recipe or very good!)

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8 months ago Betty Frost

The onion should be bigger than a lemon. Since it is for flavor, it won't make a difference but medium is about the size of a fist. As for the electric stove, I have only cooked it on an electric stove. I cook it on the lowest setting and it works. Also, the time frame is only 45 minutes, not hours.

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8 months ago Celeste Scollan

All previous commenters who described this sauce as something along the lines of Chef Boyardee--you seriously need to give this another shot! I made this sauce yesterday to rave reviews of anyone that I could share it with--I even called my neighbor to come over and try it and, despite having just finished a large meal herself, couldn't resist cleaning the bowl. So good, and so simple!

I admit that I was also skeptical of the goodness of this sauce after reading the recipe. Something to the effect of "that's it?!" for sure sprung to mind. However, this sauce is as delicious and soul-soothing as it is simple; super comforting, lovely and delicious. It's for sure a rich sauce--with flavor and attitude of a cream sauce, while maintaining the tomato texture and flavor that is just so good. Personally, I prefer things on the lighter side, so I could even do without some of the butter, but if you are one for cream sauces (as I tend not to be), then the required amount should be perfect! I'm getting hungry just talking about it and wish there was more to return home to! Which is another thing, if you want a lot of sauce or leftovers, I would for sure double the recipe. This probably fed 4 at most. Highly recommended, everyone should try this delightful recipe!

Ashley

8 months ago Ashley Marie

THANK YOU! It is definitely WONDERFUL. And the Chef Boyardee references made me go a little mad.

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9 months ago Denise

Made this twice. First with regular butter (land o lakes). Came out greasy and oily. The second time we used imported italian butter and Good imported canned tomatoes and it came out delicious. Seems this recipe is only as good as the ingredients. Now we make it all the time.

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9 months ago MRubenzahl

Fascinating. I have made it about four times now, never came out greasy. I use plain old Amercican butter (not sure the brand). The food chemist in me is curious. The butter seems not to be emulsified for some reason. Temperature? Mixing the ingredients as the butter melts? Wondering...

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9 months ago Denise

.? Maybe I used too much, I am not good at measuring or I had it too hot. Anyway still one of my favorite go to recipes

Stringio

9 months ago Sandy Alaniz

I use this recipe for pizza sauce! I cook it down until it's thick and creamy and the tomato flavor is so intense! I used a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes that I had in the pantry. A little goes a long way on pizza and since I make and keep pizza dough in the fridge ready to go, this sauce is great to keep on hand for quick go to meals. I love pizza. :)

Bad_girl

9 months ago alamesa

I am making this again now. The reason why this is such a popular sauce is because of it's simplicity, like all good recipes and sauces. The key, of course, is good quality ingredients. I add 2 cloves of garlic and throw them into the pot with the onion. This is a basic sauce to be enjoyed on it's own, or as a base for other ingredients. In my case today, with some mushrooms and fresh basil. Just cook it on a very low simmer for as long as possible. It will thicken and sweeten. Delicious!

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9 months ago A.

Someone please tell me why this is so great. I'm a big lover of rich, meaty-tasting, hearty tomato sauces. With lots of garlic, not just onions. And mushrooms. And herbs like bay & oregano. In reading this recipe, my gustatory response is: ewww, weak, watery, thin. So someone please tell me why I should try this!

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9 months ago mboerner

The answer is that it is not great. Basically, it tastes like the sauce in Spaghetti-Os. My husband hates it. I think, pace Hazan, that it just doesn't taste Italian; rather Italian American. You can make a perfectly good vegetarian tomato sauce, marinara, for example, that tastes far better than this bland, greasy concoction.

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9 months ago A.

Thanks mboerner, that's what I thought. Sorry Marcella, won't waste my San Marzanos on your recipe!

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9 months ago MRubenzahl

It's a different style. I like big, meaty sauces like bolognese and Sunday Gravy. This is different from those.
And I have to disagree, it's not weak or watery or thin. I would not judge it by reading a recipe in any case.

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9 months ago A.

But the recipe is the only way I have to judge it without wasting my recourses on it. How else?? D'oh!

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9 months ago MRubenzahl

Well, you could rely on the dozens of people who rave about it (hundreds if you look at other sites). And it's not a lot of resources to try it. A can of tomatoes, half a stick of butter and 45 minutes. But up to you.

Ashley

9 months ago Ashley Marie

Wow, I'm kind of surprised to see such negative comments about this like it tastes like the sauce in Spaghetti-Os. Seriously? It's definitely a different style - it's lighter in the fact that it's not weighed down by meat and mushrooms and such - however it's rich from the butter and salt. Like lots of people have said before me, it's amazing because it's so few recipes (that everyone usually has on hand) and the end result is delicious, fresh, versatile... I could go on. But it seems even from your initial comment you had already made up your mind about it!

Ashley

9 months ago Ashley Marie

so few ingredients, not recipes. Sorry, I have not properly caffeinated myself yet.

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9 months ago mboerner

I have tried the recipe a number of times, but it continues to taste bland and greasy--all that butter that doesn't blend into the tomatoes. Not an Italian taste to my mind. I will even go so far as to concluded that Hazan's readers like it so much precisely because it does not taste Italian. Terrible sauce.

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9 months ago Sam

So easy and delicious, I found myself eating it straight from the saucepan with a spoon.

Ashley

10 months ago Ashley Marie

Before I add my personal insight, I wanted to say that I had a 28oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes with juice, from which I had previously used a 1/2 cup from - This amount of "leftovers" was perfect for the recipe, and was actually around 2 cups when measured out.

My review - amazing, divine, groan-worthy. I was SUPER skeptical of this for the shear fact that it seemed TOO easy, TOO basic - I mean, c'mon now - only FOUR of the most basic ingredients and I don't even have to dice the onion? How could it be THAT good?

Well, it is. I can't stop licking the sauce pot. I want to eat pasta every night just to make this sauce. I want to bake a baguette right now and make that our dinner tonight - bread dipped in sauce with some wine.

EVERYONE ON FOOD52 - if you haven't made this, MAKE IT TONIGHT.

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10 months ago cookycat

Had some frozen and used it in turkey meatloaf tonight. So good.

Karl

10 months ago Karl Rosaen

Karl is Food52's VP of Technology.

When using canned tomatoes, this recipe calls for 2 cups - but a 28 oz can is about 3 cups. I also notice other websites say to use a 28 oz can. So I'm curious for those making this recipe using a 28 oz can of tomatoes - do you stick with the 5 Tbs butter, one onion, or do you up the butter and onion by 50%?

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10 months ago MRubenzahl

I made a similar comment and did a test. Use a 28 ounce can and follow the recipe. Ignore the 2 cup measurement.

Karl

10 months ago Karl Rosaen

Karl is Food52's VP of Technology.

Awesome thanks!

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10 months ago kasia S.

I use two 14.5 oz cans of whole peeled San Marzano with whole onion and 5tbs butter, even a tiny bit more later with great results :) no worries it will be great.

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9 months ago corcooks44

Hi Karl, I have made this recipe many times and I often use one 28. oz can whole San Marzano Tomatoes, juice and all to the 5 TBSP of unsalted butter -- I have never felt the need to increase. I use one onion per can too.

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12 months ago Pat

I made this recipe and kept trying to figure out what its aroma reminded me of. Sorry to say it was the smell of Chef Boyardee ravioli in the can. It didn't taste bad, but the smell was too much to take. (And I had such high hopes.)

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about 1 year ago p'illar

Made this tonight with late season fresh beefsteak tomatoes (4), regular unsalted butter and a yellow onion. It was fantastic tossed with fresh tomato tagliatelle.

Chrysanthemum

about 1 year ago Karin Ward

One follow-up to my previous comment. When using canned tomatoes, sometimes there is metallic taste so I add a little honey to get rid of it. About a tablespoon or so and that usually works.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Moe Rubenzahl

So far, I have only made it with canned tomatoes (Muir Glen, 28-oz can). I add sugar to taste, which turns out to be one tablespoon.

Chrysanthemum

about 1 year ago Karin Ward

Normally, when I make this recipe I use Fresh Plum tomatoes and the sauce turns out to have a naturally sweet flavor which is wonderful. This weekend, I used canned whole tomatoes (28 oz), generic store brand plum tomatoes and while the sauce turned out well. It doesn't have the same natural sweetness as the sauce would have with fresh plum tomatoes. I'm going to be testing various types of canned tomatoes just to see how it turns out. The recipe is still Wonderful!

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about 1 year ago Andrea K

I first made this sauce a year ago after finding it on this website. I was stunned and so excited about Marcella Hazan that I ordered 2 of her cookbooks. Every single thing I make from them is just as delicious as this sauce. She is also hilarious and does not know it. I heard she recently passed away. I feel like I've lost a member of the family.

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10 months ago Papergirl

I felt the same way about her passing as you did. Had I not read the notice in Time Magazine I might has missed it. I wore out my original 1987 copy of The Classic Italian Cookbook. When I bought the new edition, I missed the very personal menu suggestions that had been removed with the updates. I was able to buy a "new" 1987 edition from Kitchen Arts and Letters on the UES, and I continue to consult and use and love it on a regular basis.

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about 1 year ago serafinadellarosa

Just made this the other night with fresh pasta. It was divine!

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about 1 year ago bmallorca

I hope this recipe multiplies out ok! I just took EIGHT lbs of green-picked tomatoes--which all ripened in my living room--they were red and tasted ok though about 1/4 of them were mealy because of the frost that make me pick them in the first place. I crammed them all into a dutch oven. It's pretty full! This is my 3rd and last batch of sauce using these indoor-ripened tomatoes. The first two batches turned out fine, but not made with this recipe. Certainly a lot better than letting them all go to waste. Making fresh homegrown tomato sauce during Halloween week! Amazing

Stringio

about 1 year ago Moe Rubenzahl

28 oz is just over 3 cups. Looked elsewhere on the web and everywhere this recipe is listed, it's the same -- 2 cups or a 28 oz. can. I expect this recipe to be tolerant of variations but 28 vs 16 oz is a very big change.

. I am making it right now using a 28 oz can of Muir Glen whole tomatoes. I'll let you know.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Moe Rubenzahl

OK, so I made this. And was blown away. How can something this simple be this good!

I used a 28 oz can, by the way. The 2 cups can't be right although it would probably be OK.

Karl

10 months ago Karl Rosaen

Karl is Food52's VP of Technology.

Hey Moe, I had the same question - I made it with a 28 oz can without upping the other ingredients and it was tasty, but I'm still curious if anyone else has tried it with 50% more butter and onion to match the additional cup of canned tomatoes.

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about 1 year ago Galapagos

High quality ingredients, simply prepared made this delicious. I used Muir Glen tomatoes, Presidente butter, and a farmers market red tomato. No need of peppers, mushrooms, celery, or

Bad_girl

9 months ago alamesa

Agreed. It's all about the quality of the ingredients.

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about 1 year ago Robin

I put the quartered tomatoes, sliced bell pepper, sliced onion, 3 or 4 garlic cloves and a stalk of celery on a foil lined cookie sheet. I gently sprayed them with olive oil spray and sprinkled on the sea salt....roasted for about 30 @ 350-375. After it cooled to touch, I pulled the skin off the tomatoes and squeezed the seeds out and put the tomatoes and veggies ( minus the celery) in a blender. Then I put this mixture in the freezer in one and two cup containers. I just added what "looked" right to me....about 10 tomatoes, a small onion, a little garlic and a bell pepper, a stalk of celery sliced. After I removed the veggies, I strained the juice left on the cookie sheet and froze it separately for the dishes that need extra moisture. I use this in taco soup, veggie soup, casseroles, pasta sauce...almost anything.. It just seems that the flavors pop so much more from the roasting. I even added a little jalapeno and fresh cilantro and lime juice to the blended goodness and made a quick salsa!!!

Tomy-1

about 1 year ago David Baker

I would like to add a separate recommendation to my comments below: Although I've never been a fan of commercially prepared tomato sauces, the "Gia Russa" brand of tomato products such as their Marinara Sauce, and their Tomato & Basil sauce (unsalted) are excellent. Because you can actually taste the tomatoes! And they're consistent. You may even be tempted to give up cooking tomato sauce from scratch altogether - except when having company (which is a rare occasion around my house. Most of the time it's just me and my discriminating cat).

Bad_girl

9 months ago alamesa

Me too David, me too.

Chrysanthemum

about 1 year ago Karin Ward

This recipe is wonderful. So simple and very easy to make and very delicious tasting. It's perfect for making at night after getting home from work because you do not have to watch it too closely. Of course you have to watch it a little but not too much. I have tried this with simple whole tomatoes at the supermarket. It turned out well.

Tomy-1

about 1 year ago David Baker

Problem: I haven't found a good canned [plum, etc] tomato since Progresso went out of business. And forget fresh, since the supermarkets and roadside stands around here wouldn't know good tomato if it jumped up and bit them. Therefore, any 'specific' suggestions (ie brands) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

When we're using canned tomatoes, we typically go for San Marzano brand or Muir Glen, which both work great.

Tomy-1

about 1 year ago David Baker

Thanks, Kristen. I've tried both, and both were disappointing - that is, compared to the original Progresso brand - which at one time used Vineland (NJ) plum-tomatoes exclusively. Then they were bought out by Kraft(?) or one of them, who in turn started blending (mixing tomatoes from different regions), which in turn killed their tomato business. Until they were forced out of the tomato-product market completely. Now the Progresso brand specializes in canned salt... I mean soup;) Meanwhile, a San Marzano or Muir Glen may work well with Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce, so I'll be giving 'em another try. Still, it's a shame the original Progresso isn't around - they even appeared in "The Godfather" - the scene where Tesseo(?) is showing Michael how to make a real Italian gravy. When I was growing up in NYC c. 1950, Progresso was all they used (aside from fresh). Anyway, many thanks for the reply.

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about 1 year ago Alice Rose

I agree that what comes off the grocery store shelf is not up to snuff. I've started buying 20 lb. boxes of local Roma tomatoes. Wash them, slice them in half top to bottom, place face cut-side down on olive oil sprayed lipped cookie sheet (touching is fine), toss on some sliced fresh garlic, spray with more olive oil and place in 375 degree (convection preferred oven) for 30 minutes. Remove the skins while hot (so EASY), and place tomatoes and garlic bits into containers and pop in the freezer. Different sized containers allow you to pull out the quantity appropriate for your recipe.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Vincenzo Fragola

"And forget fresh, since the supermarkets and roadside stands around here wouldn't know good tomato if it jumped up and bit them." That's really funny and I must agree, fresh tomatoes quality and taste is one of the most depressing experiences you can ever have...

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about 1 year ago KarenNJ

David, I really like the Nina brand of San Marzanos from Costco. A about $4 for a 106 oz can, it is economical as well as great tasting. Grown and packed in Italy.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Abraham R. Masid

very good..

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about 1 year ago Sabrina

just tried this and i think it taste great. i did however also leave in the onions. My boyfriend wanted it sweeter so i split the batch and added a little sugar to his half. we will see which one will taste better on pasta! thank you again for the recipe.

Curly

about 1 year ago sarah eisler

I have made this a few times with tomatoes from our garden. I dont blanch and skin tomato or remove onion at end. I just quarter tomato and toss all ingredients in pot together. Cook down then blend with a stick blender. Once cool, pack in mason jars and freeze. Easy peezy and delicious.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Sidny Bruton

My son is named hazan so it's to my likeing !!

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about 1 year ago Drew S.

Not trying to be picky but blanching is not boiling the tomatoes and letting them cool down to touch. Blanching would be to boil the immediately place them in ice water to stop the cooking process.

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about 1 year ago Amirah Harith

Just made this for dinner and it is incredible. The taste is fresh and uncomplicated! Love it!

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over 1 year ago Elizabeth Criss

Will a butter sauce can well? I'd like to try to make some sauce to can with extra tomatoes. Does anyone have experience canning this sauce?

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about 1 year ago Moe Rubenzahl

Not tried it but I have seen canned sauces with butter (Giada deLaurentis's jarred sauce, for example). I expect it will be fine.

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over 1 year ago Betty Frost

I love onions in so many ways that when I remove it from the sauce I cut it up and eat it. So yummy with the sauce on it.

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over 1 year ago cookycat

I've done that!

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over 1 year ago Kim Fletcher

I usually process it and throw it in something like bbq sauce. I don't put it back into the sauce since I really love the purity of the tomato and butter with just the hint of onion.

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over 1 year ago Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's assistant editor.

Does anyone have any idea for what to do with the onion afterwards? Does it lose all the flavor in the cooking process or is there something delicious to make with it?

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over 1 year ago Bevi

I did 2 different things: once, I blended the onion in; another time I took the tomato out and chopped it up and added it back to the sauce (messy).

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over 1 year ago inpatskitchen

I often blend the onion in also and sometimes I add a clove of garlic to the pot and then blend everything with an immersion blender.

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over 1 year ago cookycat

Same here I've blended it in and also cut it up and put some back and used the rest of the onion in something else. I can't remember what I added the onion to but it was good.

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over 1 year ago Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's assistant editor.

Thanks everyone!

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over 1 year ago zephyrflora

After making this, I froze 4 small portions (cup) together with 4 pizza dough balls - now when I have to work long hours, I just put them out in the morning and when I come home all I have to do is lather the dough with the sauce and add some veggies/stuff from the fridge, and dinner is ready in less than 20min!

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over 1 year ago Betty Frost

What a great idea to use it as a pizza sauce. It does freeze well, so I will be using your idea.

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over 1 year ago cookycat

I freeze it as well and find it is great added to home made soups. I'll have to try it as pizza sauce I'm sure it is delicious.

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over 1 year ago zephyrflora

You can add some spices either before freezing or when adding it to the pizza, and voilá, it's really pretty perfect :D

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over 1 year ago Kim Fletcher

I think this is more of an ad lib thing. I am doing it this morning with about 2.5 lbs of fresh, a combination of grapes, heirlooms and a few romas from the CSA box last week (the new box comes today!) so I will use a smidge more butter and a med sized onion. BTW - this freezes beautifully.

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over 1 year ago Angel

I just made with a 28 oz can of tomatoes. Quite amazing!

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over 1 year ago Kalliope

Sounds simple and delicious. Question about quantity of tomatoes--2 cups canned would be 1 pound, so would 2 pounds fresh be closer to 4 cups? or is this more of an ad lib recipe?

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over 1 year ago cookycat

I made some today with fresh tomatoes and I weighed the tomatoes after they were peeled and chopped and had just over two pounds. I would definitely weigh whatever tomatoes I used.

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over 1 year ago always040

Looks amazing.

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over 1 year ago fayehess

Technically you shouldn't keep it more than 3 days, but I am sure properly refrigerated it would last a week.

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over 1 year ago Gwyneth Manser

Does anyone have any idea about how long this can be stored once made? With the butter added I wasn't sure.

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over 1 year ago cookycat

I made it last summer and froze a few containers. I ate the last container about three weeks ago and it was delicious.

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over 1 year ago inpatskitchen

I agree about freezing...I make it and freeze in 8 ounce containers and it keeps for months.

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over 1 year ago Kim Fletcher

This is a fantastic recipe - and the whole point of it IS the unctuousness you get from the butter, the length of cooking and the slight bit of onion. My opinion is that substituting olive oil is fine, but that is an altogether different flavor. It is still quite good, and when I don't want such as rich sauce, that is what I do - make a normal marinara using olive oil and Marcella's technique.

See my earlier post on what I do with the onions - puree and use in a BBQ sauce - some of the Marcella sauce, the pureed onion, some garlic, a handfull of raisins, and Worcestershire.....simmer until thick and use on chicken or even burgers......

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over 1 year ago Jaclyn C.

How much olive oil do you use? I just need a cheaper/healthier sauce compared to the grocery store to cook with at this point.

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over 1 year ago Jaclyn C.

Is there a substitute for the butter? I really like the simplicity of this recipe but I'd prefer to not use as much butter.

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over 1 year ago MrsK

This sounds wonderful and so simple. The only problem for me will be to discard the onion... I love onions!

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over 1 year ago cookycat

I didn't discard the onions just cut it in smaller pieces when it was all cooked.

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over 1 year ago MrsK

Step 3: "Discard the onion before tossing with pasta." I wouldn't discard it either.

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over 1 year ago Jane Eyrehead

Francis Ford Coppola has published his family's no-garlic spaghetti sauce, and while it does have basil, and olive oil, it is finished with a lump of butter, which does add richness. I'll try this one. I also recommend M. Hazan's meatball recipe, from her first cookbook. Really, really good.

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over 1 year ago Joe Mamaluc

Thats not gravy thats ketchup! Missing garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary and olive oil

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over 1 year ago AlyssaM

Sorry to have to call you out, Joe, but as a 100% Italian, I can honestly say no one in my family has EVER used rosemary in their gravy. :). I was leery at first as well, and the flavor is certainly no comparison to the Sunday gravy I grew up on, bubbling on the stove for hours, loaded with meatballs, sausage etc..that we all dunked bread in throughout the day...but it did have wonderful flavor. The beauty is in the simplicity and possible freshness of ingredients. You have to embrace it for what it is. Oh, and for goodness sake, put down the rosemary! ;)

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over 1 year ago Joe Mamaluc

Well, I was raised by my 100 percent Italian mother and know something about Sunday Gravy. I have many Italian friends that can't cook and like Ragu, so I rest my case.

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over 1 year ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

I believe Joe is Italian/American, correct? Nonna (and my mother, both born in Italy) would only put oregano on pizza, and rosemary would never go into the sauce, and I do the same. To each his own, though, if Joe and his family like it that way, it's better than buying Ragu ;)

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over 1 year ago cookycat

Last night I used the last of this sauce that I made in the summer. It was still delicious. Yesterday I also planted my tomatoes so in a few months I can make more.

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over 1 year ago Betty Frost

I use olive oil for almost everything, but I don't think this particular recipe will be as good if it does not have butter. Perhaps do half and half.

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over 1 year ago Grant P. Sears

Looks and sounds good! But instead of butter, try olive oil!

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over 1 year ago Grant P. Sears

Looks and sounds good!But instead of using butter, try olive oil!

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over 1 year ago fayehess

I absolutely love this sauce. Be sure to seed the tomatoes to help w/acidity issues. Quality of both canned tomato and butter can make a difference too. Taste your canned tomatoes before using. I find if using canned tomatoes, whole tomatoes definitely work best and kate's unsalted butter, or most european unsalted butters add a really nice flavor.

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over 1 year ago Cookie!

After seeing all the praise for this recipe, I finally made it over the weekend. I will never make any other tomato sauce again - the flavor of this recipe is amazing for so few ingredients. I could have stood over the pot and eaten the whole thing with a spoon! Will definitely double the recipe next time-

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over 1 year ago webbiest

I made Marcella Hazan's sauce once in a Calphalon pot and it completely removed the finish from the inside of the pot. The combination of high acidity and long cooking did it.

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over 1 year ago Hark

Lovely simple tomato sauce for lighter summer dishes. My house smelled amazing while I cooked it.

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almost 2 years ago alamesa

I think white or yellow are both fine. I've made it with both and really no difference. I've always used unsalted butter but as others have already mentioned the quality of the tomatoes is the key.

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almost 2 years ago AlyssaM

I have asked before, but never got an answer..what type of onion should I use, vidalia, white, yellow? And should the butter be salted or unsalted? Thank you!

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almost 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

We've always used yellow onions and unsalted butter but any of these will probably result in great sauce -- just be sure to adjust the seasoning to your taste at the end.

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almost 2 years ago cookycat

I used a yellow onion that I happen to have and salted butter. I do, however, suspect that the tomatoes you use might make a difference. I used tomatoes straight from my garden that were delicious to begin with and this sauce turned out amazing.

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almost 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I use whatever I have on hand..but the tomatoes are the key I think. If using canned, make sure you have a great quality roma or a San Marzano.

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almost 2 years ago AlyssaM

Thank you so much everyone, I really appreciate the feedback. With it being Winter, I am going to try it with the absolute best imported canned Roma's or San Marzano's I can find. Fingers crossed!

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almost 2 years ago Betty Frost

I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this recipe on your site. I have her cookbook with this recipe and I had forgotten about it until a few months ago. I prepared it and loved it just as much as I did many years ago. Thanks for sharing it with everyone. Her clam sauce is also amazing.

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about 2 years ago Crissy Shipp

how about a yummy meatball recipe to go with? anyone?

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about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

This one! http://food52.com/recipes...

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about 2 years ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

This is how my southern Italian family makes meatballs: http://christinascucina...

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about 2 years ago peter.boyd.37

@ccincalif, nice meatball recipe. It is very similar to the one passed down by my Calabrian grandmother. The only difference is that her recipe called for ground veal (or goat) instead of chicken/turkey, more cheese, minced onion, cold water instead of milk, and for browning the meatballs in the oven on a baking sheet—less mess to clean up this way. My own addition to her recipe is to add diced pancetta which mimics the way the Albanians/Bosnians make their meatballs (Qebap or Kofte/a, which are in turn based on Turkish Qofte) which I fell in love with when I lived/worked in the former Yugoslavia—of course being Muslims, they left out the pork and used minced bits of an air-dried prosciutto-style beef ham (confusingly also) called prosciutto.

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almost 2 years ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

Thanks, Peter-I like the idea of browning the meatballs in the oven; have never seen that done before. Your grandmother's recipe sounds delicious! It's nice that we can save our relatives' recipes to pass down (and onto) others much easier with computers and social media than in the past. My mother gets upset when she can't remember how her mother used to make certain things because nothing was ever written down :(

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about 2 years ago cookycat

I made this sauce last summer using my garden tomatoes. Took some out of the freezer last week and used it and it was so delicious. Sorry that I didn't make lots more. Tastes like sunshine and summer.

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about 2 years ago cookycat

Made this in the summer with my delicious garden tomatoes and put it in the freezer. I used some last week and it was so good. I am so sorry that I didn't make more than I did. I will definitely make it again next summer.

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about 2 years ago Geni758

I do a slightly modified version of this sauce. I freeze the fresh tomatoes, defrost and put them in a food mill. I add 1 - 28 oz. Or 2 - 14.28 oz. cans of tomatoes and put them through the food mill as well. I add butter, onion and salt and simmer for 45 minutes. This sauce reminds me of the sauce my former father in-law used to make. I never knew why it was so good but now I'm convinced it's the butter. I LOVE this sauce! I can't believe it tastes so good and is sooooo...simple. If you haven't tried it, you don't know what you're missing. Definitely my "go to" recipe, bar none.

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about 2 years ago sam74387

I don't know what went wrong but my sauce has been cooking for an hour and still is very thin. and the taste is off but i can't put my finger on the problem. does anyone have any suggestions? :(

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about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

That doesn't sound right! Have you been simmering it uncovered? It might help to know if you're using fresh or canned tomatoes too.

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about 2 years ago sam74387

it is simmering uncovered and i used fresh tomatoes from my garden. my only guess would be that i used too many tomatoes. i don't have a scale so i estimated.

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about 2 years ago sam74387

i added more butter a while ago and the sauce is starting to thicken now. i am going to start my noodles and hopefully it will be thick by the time my noodles are done, if not i will just eat it as is.

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about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

That's good -- some juicier fresh tomatoes can take longer to reduce and thicken than romas. I hope that the off taste has gone away and that it all comes together nicely.

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about 2 years ago sam74387

i just got done and the sauce is the perfect consistency. as for the off taste i realized it was that i thought it was oily. i added some garlic salt and it tastes great on the noodles, it is only too oily when eaten on its own. over all it is a great recipe.

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about 2 years ago always040

Not with the butter... and I would definitely acidify it with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice... and definitely not in quarts for 15 minutes (more like 35). So the short answer is no. Youre probably better off canning acidified tomato puree and making the sauce on the spot. It should freeze well, though.

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about 2 years ago Chef Lynchini

Can anyone tell me if this resulting sauce can safely be canned using the 15 minute boiling water bath method ?

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over 2 years ago Galapagos

In a 1969 issue of Gourmet, James Beard published a similar recipe (switch in garlic for the onion in the Marcella Hazen recipe) in an article on quick pasta sauces. The final comment from Mr. Beard was "The delicacy of the fresh tomato flavor will astound you." So it's always referred to as Astounding Sauce in my family. And delicious it is!

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over 2 years ago Refrigerator Magnet

I got that cookbook when I was 25 years old and it is so dog-earred and loved. This sauce is fabulous and one of the first things my husband and I made, along with homemade tortellini. It is dead simple and delicious.

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over 2 years ago inpatskitchen

I know I shouldn't "mess" with a recipe as lovely as this but I've been making it as is, adding a clove of garlic, and then when it's finished simmering, instead of removing the onion and garlic, I just take an immersion blender to it. I think it's pretty darn good! And freezes like a dream!

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over 2 years ago StevenC

Absurdly simple, incredible results...like most really good recipes.
I found the recipe on line and tried it last weekend. Completely bowled over. Don't think I'll ever buy jarred sauce again.
I did try something a little different on the second making. Took half the cooked onion at the end, pureed it and added it back. Lightened the color a bit and helped it coat the pasta beautifully.
Fabulous recipe.

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over 2 years ago thedaley

I'm not embarrassed to say that I made this and ate 3/4 of it just with a spoon. It was like, oh, let me grab a little ramekin of sauce here, just to taste. And then 5 ramekins later... Or, even better, I used a buttery-onion layer from the simmer to scoop up sauce.

So, so delicious and simple. I'm so glad I now have a basic pasta sauce recipe that won't require a can of tomato paste.

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Just wanted to report back on how beautifully this sauce freezes. My mom made a double batch of it and froze small containers of the sauce + meatballs when my daughter was born several months back. Talk about a great thing to pull out of the freezer!

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over 2 years ago ski_gpsy

Sorry for asking a question here but the "Ask A Question" feature isn't working.

My question is; How can this recipe serve 6? If you simmer 2 cups canned diced tomatoes and their juice as the recipe calls for, you'll probably only get about 1.5 cups of sauce.

Has anyone made this recipe using 2 cups of canned diced tomatoes and if so, how much sauce did it make?

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over 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It's just enough sauce to lightly sauce spaghetti for 6, but you're right -- it's nice to have more. Doubling the recipe is a good idea!

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over 2 years ago hitpas

This truly is a genius recipe. It's amazing in the summer with fresh tomatoes and makes me so happy in the winter with a can of San Marzanos. If only I could keep myself from tasting it every 2 seconds while it cooks. So delicious.

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over 2 years ago Peggio

I found this about a year ago & it is my "go to" sauce for everything requiring tomato sauce. I add some pepper, oregano & rosemary to make a great pizza sauce and sometimes add mushrooms when I am craving those but it needs NOTHING else if you really love the taste of fresh tomato sauce (even using canned, it tastes fresh!).
I bought Essentials of Italian Cooking after finding this sauce & I think Marcella's recipes are the BEST! Thanks for sharing it here.

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almost 3 years ago KateC

Pure delight!

I've found this recipe at Marcella's son cookbook a long time ago. It became "THE" tomato sauce at my home, and spoilled any other tomato sauce included in some very interesting pasta recipes and other dishes using a tomatoto sauce. I finally realized I should always sub the recipes tomato sauces by Marcella's. It's fabulous and I'm so glad you shared it here!

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about 3 years ago LaurieLKC

This is THE BEST tomato sauce I have ever made, or even ever had! I have used it in all kinds of pasta recipes since I found this recipe.
By the way, I have tried to tell so many people about it, but I'm usually treated with skepticism. Oh well, my secret, their loss!!!

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about 3 years ago LaurieLKC

This is THE BEST tomato sauce I have ever made, or even ever had! I have used it in all kinds of pasta recipes since I found this recipe.
By the way, I have tried to tell so many people about it, but I'm usually treated with skepticism. Oh well, my secret, their losst!!!!

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about 3 years ago LaurieLKC

loss*

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about 3 years ago Nel

I was amazed at how delicious this was. The butter really makes this tasty. Plus it was so easy. I typically need sauces to be packed with flavor (to this end, I typically add peppers, chili flakes, generous amounts of garlic, or sausages) but this sauce is great on its own. A recipe to be repeated.

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about 3 years ago Katie

I made this a few months ago with tomatoes from our garden and I can honestly say it was the best tomato sauce I have ever tasted. I ate about three-fourths of the sauce with a spoon before it even hit the pasta. It is that good!

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about 3 years ago Bevi

Today I had the great good fortune to buy local organic tomatoes for 75 cents a pound. I made Marcella's sauce in a triple batch, and I must say the aroma was heavenly. I cooked as directed, using the hot water skin peeling method, and allowed the sauce to cool before I froze it. I saved a little for dinner tonight, though. Just a wonderful recipe to know and use for the freshest cooked sauce possible.

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about 3 years ago mboerner

Everytime I make this, my husband complains that it tastes like "refined Spaghetti Os." He's right; there is something "American Italian" about the taste.Just saying.

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over 2 years ago Christina @ Christina's Cucina

Probably because a. no olive oil or garlic and b. the onion isn't fried first (could at least fry it in the butter.) I would never make this sauce because I know my Nonna, aunts in Italy or my Italian born mother would ever make a sauce in this manner.

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about 3 years ago mboerner

Every time I make this, my husband complains that it doesn't "taste Italian"; rather "like a refined can of Spaghetti Os"! It's true that the flavor is the one associated with American spaghetti. Good, but. . . . Maybe it would taste more Italian if it were made with fresh tomatoes from a market in Italy. Just saying.

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about 3 years ago mboerner

Every time I make this, my husband complains that it doesn't "taste Italian"; rather "like a refined can of Spaghetti Os"! It's true that the flavor is the one associated with American spaghetti. Good, but. . . . Maybe it would taste more Italian if it were made with fresh tomatoes from a market in Italy. Just saying.

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about 3 years ago selena

I made this yesterday. The tomatoes here are suffering for the heat and drought but I used fresh - I wonder if this made it thin. I also added a half a shallot. After cooking, I put everything in the pot through the food mill to make a silky smooth texture - served it on ravioli. This is a keeper recipe - delicate and compelling flavors. It reminds me of the sauce my dad would put on stuffed cabbage rolls, so that's what I plan to try it on when the fall comes around (in Nov).

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over 3 years ago veronique

Sublime.

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over 3 years ago alamesa

Just finished a piping hot bowl of spaghetti, to which I made and added this sauce,(included a little bit of the onion - finely chopped) and some finely sliced courgettes and topped it off with lashing of fresh parmesan. Although next time am going to try with plum rather than the mix of tomatoes I happened to have in the kitchen. It was almost as good as my Nonna's ;). Delicious!

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over 3 years ago Chubby Broccoli

Just made this and wasn't even planning on pasta for dinner -- it sounded that good. And it was. The tomatoes were so-so but the butter really makes this sauce sing. Definitely a go-to recipe.
More genius recipes, please!

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over 3 years ago Sarah Doering

I gilded the lily and toss in a piece of Pecorino Romano rind while it was simmering. I also diced the wilted onion and added it back to the sauce. Freezes beautifully and can be the basis for anything. Great to give it away with fresh pasta and basil in a basket!

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over 3 years ago EmilyC

After making this sauce over the weekend, I fully understand all of the hype. It's outstanding -- by far the best tomato sauce I've ever made or eaten. So glad you highlighted it here, Kristen.

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over 3 years ago The Fiery Epicurean

Was a little nervous about the sauce due to the lack of ingredients, but it turned out so flavorful! Like others have suggested, don't substitute oil for butter and don't toss out the onion either! This recipe will be one I'll turn to often with all the tomatoes I have ripening!

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over 3 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

Made this last night for the first time, and I honestly can't believe how good it is. I will be spreading the word!

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over 3 years ago CathyB

We have been making this for years. It's a great winter sauce, when fresh herbs aren't available. I always discard the onion. I'm not a fan of its slimy texture. Try it with potato gnocchi and parmesan cheese. It's heavenly.

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over 3 years ago lorikellylc

I made this for the first time last night. WOW! I made Italian meatballs and pasta to go with it. (And, yes, I saved some of the onion and served that with it.) A HUGE HIT!

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over 3 years ago Vicki Bensinger

I've never made this recipe but it sounds wonderful. Just a few simple but powerful ingredients. I'm definitely going to try this.

My grandmother use to make homemade chicken soup and do the same thing with an onion.. She'd put the whole onion in though and then remove it just before serving.

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over 3 years ago mboerner

Canned San Marzano (D.O.P.) tomatoes are excellent tomatoes for this (or any other) sauce. Several brands market them, Cento, for example. They are pricey but worth every penny.

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about 3 years ago Eydie Desser

Question about size of can to use....I bought a 28 oz. Can of San Marzano....so that's almost 4 cups? But the weight says a net of 1 lb. 12 oz. So, for this recipe, would you add just 5 TB butter or 10?

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over 3 years ago Edgewatercook

I made this on Saturday and we loved it. I served it with sauteed eggplant, veal and pasta. Terrific. But the real surprise came when I was making a new bbq sauce. I had the onion and about 1 cup of the Marcella Sauce left over. I needed 2 cups of tomato sauce (plus ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar (I used fig balsamic), herbs and spices. So, I dumped the Marcella sauce and a cup of fresh tomato from my garden (peeled and chopped) into the food processor and blended it together. Then I simmered it with the other ingredients for about an hour. Oh my. Oh my. Really good BBQ sauce! And I didn't waste that onion!

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love it: Marcella Sauce!

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over 2 years ago rapearson

you should post your recipe to food 52 I think! it sounds really good.

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over 3 years ago SuzanneBaggett

Can't believe I'm so late to the table with this recipe, but can't wait to make. BTW, her spaghetti carbonara is TO DIE FOR!!!!!!!

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over 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Made this today and it was absolutely fabulous. I fried some thick rings of lightly breaded eggplant so they were a little crispy (see the new Bon Appetit for tips on how to do this), grated a little cheese on top, and topped it all of with this sauce. To die for. Perfect Sunday dinner. Thanks for sharing this one!

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over 3 years ago aplatefulofhappiness

I love this sauce! I've been making it for years. However, instead of the halved onion that gets discarded, I dice up the onion before cooking it with the tomatoes and leave it in the sauce.

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over 3 years ago AlohaHoya

Such good news!!! I have gobs of cherry tomatoes (whole) in the freezer to fix into sauce and "preserve". This will be perfect!!! Thanks so much!

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over 3 years ago deedeebear

My first thought after reading the reviews was, "if this is great I'm going to want to can it". When you said you plan to preserve it did you mean canning or freezing? If you meant canning how long do you think it should be in a hot water bath? Of course I'm assuming we will love this sauce as much as everyone else has.

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over 3 years ago Joanie3030

I made this last night with some whole wheat pasta and it was great.The only problem
Was it was so good I went back for seconds.

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over 3 years ago Babcia

Been making this for years. It is even good made with an 28-ounce can of tomatoes in the winter. Sometimes I keep the onion, sometimes not. But DON'T sub oil for the butter. The butter is a must in this recipe. This also freezes well.

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over 3 years ago gt9

Making it now! Looking forward to it. already smells delish!

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over 3 years ago socarroll

This is one of our go-to recipes. It is truly delicious, and so so easy.

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over 3 years ago JaneinWellesley

One more way to peel the tomatoes, and I think I learned this from Marcella in either one of her cookbooks or in an article. Peel it with a potato or vegetable peeler. Really works well and much easier than the methods mentioned here. .

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over 3 years ago gardenercook

this is our household's answer to heartbreak, celebration, comfort and love. Go-to cooking from the heart.

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over 3 years ago ibbeachnana

Wonderful, been making that sauce for quite some time, oh and I also don't discard the onion.

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over 3 years ago dailykale

This has been regularly in our house for years and we never, ever discard the onion!

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over 3 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Genius for sure - perfection and tried and true.