Potential modification to Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce recipe?

Does anyone have any thoughts about substituting an equal amount of olive oil for the butter used in the Food52 "genius" version of the recipe? I got the "evil eye" from my beloved wife when I recently made the sauce, along with some negative comments about using butter to cook with. I am grateful that she is concerned about my health, but the sauce is so easy to make and wonderful to eat that I don't want to give it up! Hence my question about substituting olive oil for butter.

I looked over the comments to the recipe in the "genius" section, and someone mentioned that olive oil is used in the more southerly parts of Italy instead of butter in making this tomato-based recipes; so, would that work here instead? Does anyone have experience in how it would change the taste?

Thanks in advance for your help.



Jackie D. May 10, 2020
100% go olive oil. Italians do it better!!!
Nancy May 8, 2020
Gandalf, a few reactions.
You will have a fine tomato sauce if you use olive oil, but/and it won't be Marcella Hazan's sauce.
If you go that route, I suggest using 4 tbsp olive oil to replace 5 tbsp butter in original, because oil is 100% fat compared to butter, which is about 80%.
Or, you could find a tomato sauce recipe you like which was developed from the start with olive oil and tastes very good. Suggestions, one made in USA by Lynn Rossetto Kasper, from Splendid Table fame, and one by Faith Willinger in Italy from her book Red White and Greens.
On delicate ground here, maybe keep making Marcella's sauce. If you are all healthy and at reasonable weights, keep in mind we need a certain amount of fat daily, not only for calories, but for certain internal processes of digestion, and best conversion of some micro-nutrients into formats our bodies can use. So if there are no restrictions for health reasons, we each should be eating 50 to 80g fat a day (about 2-3 tbsp). If you had one portion of the Marcella tomato sauce it would be less than 1 tbsp or about 1/3 your daily intake.
Last (I think we are on the fourth hand by now), if there are arguments specifically against butter, that's another story.
Good luck in your explorations,
gandalf May 8, 2020
Thanks for your excellent observations and comments!

I understand that by substituting olive oil for butter it is technically not Marcella Hazan's recipe; but I am trying to use it as a known starting point for a different recipe.

I will check out the Splendid Table recipe and the Williger recipe as well.

And, not to worry about "delicate ground" here: I am what I am, enclosed by a pretty thick skin (at least I hope so).
Nancy May 8, 2020
Got your points, especially your first one, which I imagined you thought of and planned. Should have said so.
So why did I recommend other recipes?
In my own cooking, when I change something important in a recipe I've made a lot, I like to look at other versions developed from scratch on a different line. Often learn something, or develop a new favorite way of doing something.
And if I don't like the new or outlier version, I can always return to my tried and true one.

gandalf May 8, 2020
Well, in addition to trying to keep my wife happy, I am an inveterate tweaker of recipes; so I appreciate your suggestions and also the other recipes!
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