Inspired by Marcella Hazan’s buttery tomato sauce, this minimalist no-cook take comes together in the blink of an eye. Just buzz up cherry tomatoes with soft butter and salt. That’s it.
Don’t skip the deseeding step. This ensures that the sauce doesn’t end up watery or separated. On that note, once you start the food processor, it will seem like the ingredients will never become one. Just be patient. Soon enough, they’ll turn into rosy-hued fluff. You can use right away or store in the fridge for later on. (And don’t resist making a double batch.)
When you add this tomato butter to hot pasta, it becomes weak in the knees, melting into a glossy sauce. Any noodle shape works, from twirly spaghetti or fettuccine to chunky rigatoni or penne. While I often prefer whole-wheat pasta, in this case, the nuttiness could distract from the pure tomato flavor.
After you try pasta, why stop there? Stir into warm rice (or quinoa or couscous or kasha). Spread onto toast and top with soft scrambled eggs. Use as the springboard for sautéed anything, from zucchini to corn to—wait for it—more tomatoes. Or plop onto grilled chicken, fish, steak, you name it. The possibilities are endless.
This is one of our Big Little Recipes, our weekly column all about dishes with big flavor and little ingredient lists. Do you know (and love) a recipe that’s low in ask, high in reward? Let us know in the comments. —Emma Laperruque
Test Kitchen Notes
This is one of our Big Little Recipes. Read more here: A No-Cook, 2-Ingredient Spin on the Best Tomato Sauce Ever. —The Editors
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Makes 1 1/2 cups
cherry tomatoes (about 8 ounces)
stick unsalted butter, cubed, soft
- Prep the cherry tomatoes. Cut each one in half. Now squeeze out the pulp—either by pinching the tomato or scooping with your fingertip. Discard the pulp and collect the deseeded halves in a 1-cup measuring cup—it should be full by the time you’re done.
- Add the prepared tomatoes to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the butter and salt. Pulse, scraping down as needed, until cohesive and rosy in color. Use immediately or store in the fridge.