Tomato sauce with onion + butter + and then some

May 3, 2019

Author Notes: Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce is nearly flawless. However, I wanted to see if I could make it *even* easier (no time to import tomatoes from Italy? Weird) and a little more green (who wants to remove that delicious, caramelized onion?). So, we added a couple more ingredients (all pantry staples) but preserved the beauty, simplicity, and magic of Marcella's recipe. Lizzie

Serves: 5
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hrs


  • 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 6 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup water, rinsed in empty can of tomatoes to collect all of the leftover juices
  • Salt to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
In This Recipe


  1. Put canned tomatoes in a big pot, add the diced butter, onion, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Put 1 cup of water into the empty tomato can and squish it around to collect all of those good tomato juices. Add to pot with other ingredients.
  3. Cook sauce uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 60 minutes. Stir every 8 or so minutes and mash the tomatoes, onions, and garlic with a wooden spoon.
  4. After the sauce is thickened and the tomatoes are jammy, add additional salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve on pasta with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano.

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