Sunday Dinner

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil and Chopped Vegetables

August 17, 2018
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, A Love Letter to Marcella Hazan’s *Other* Tomato Sauces, sponsored by Lagostina.

A companion to Marcella Hazan’s famous Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, this sauce is heartier and more flavorful than its celebrity friend, though nearly as simple to prepare. You can chop the carrot, celery, and onion roughly or fine, depending on whether you prefer your sauce to be more rustic or more refined.

Marcella says: The carrot and celery in this sauce are put in *a crudo*, which means without the usual separate and preliminary sautéeing procedure, along with the tomatoes. The sweetness of carrot and the fragrance of celery contribute depth to the fresh tomato flavor of the sauce. This is an all-purpose sauce for most cuts of factory-made pasta, particularly spaghettini and penne.

Recipe adapted ever so slightly from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan.Sarah Whitman-Salkin

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 2 cups canned tomatoes, cut up or whole, with their juice
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta
  1. Put the tomatoes in a saucepan, add the carrot, celery, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a slow, steady simmer for 30 minutes. Stir from time to time, occasionally mashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to break them down.
  2. Add the olive oil and raise the heat slightly to bring the sauce to a somewhat stronger simmer. Stir occasionally, reducing the tomato to as much of a pulp as you can with the back of a spoon. Cook for 15 minutes, then taste and add more salt if you’d like.
  3. To make fresh tomatoes ready for the sauce, there are two methods: the blanching method and the food mill method.
  4. The blanching method: Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them up into coarse pieces.
  5. 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 purée.

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1 Review

Cheryl September 17, 2018
I have made this for years and years and is my favorite. I always use canned tomatoes and then chop them up, also chop the carrots fine in the food processor. After cooking the sauce for an hour, I use the food mill to puree the sauce and vegetables--and add any vegetables left in the food mill back in. You have to try this. It's incredible.