Ground Beef

Tomato Sauce with Beef, Onion & Butter

May  6, 2019
1 Ratings
Photo by Tran
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This recipe is my adaptation of Marcella's beloved tomato sauce with onion and butter. I've made the original version many times with fresh tomatoes in late summer and adore it. My goal for this adapted version was to keep the simplicity of ingredients and technique yet add some depth of flavor and heartiness. The result is something closer to a bolognese sauce yet more tomato-ey and not as fussy of a process. My husband and I really liked the flavor, and I loved the minimal effort and clean up. I will be making this again! Perfect for a weeknight meal or a Sunday supper when you'd rather be outside in the garden, at the beach, spending time with loved ones, etc. —Tran

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean) or substitute with ground pork, turkey or chicken
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 28 oz. can unsalted crushed tomato
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved through the rootend
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and halved crosswise
  • 1 celery stalk, halved crosswise
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup water (optional)
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 pound pasta of choice
  • parmesan cheese
  1. In a sauce pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute ground beef with salt until it looks cooked on the outside.
  2. Add tomato, onion, carrot, celery, butter, and black pepper. If your canned tomatoes are a thick consistency, then add water.
  3. When sauce begins to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes or until desired consistency. Stir sauce every 10 minutes. When sauce is done, remove all vegetable chunks and discard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. When sauce is almost done, boil the pasta in salted water until desired. Drain pasta and toss with finished sauce over low heat to evenly coat pasta and absorb sauce. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Barbara Bergeron
    Barbara Bergeron
  • Tran

2 Reviews

Barbara B. July 14, 2019
I made this for supper tonight! After seeing the recipe it's all I, wanted to eat! It came together rather quickly. And it was heavenly. The delicious smell of butter, onions & tomatoes, filled my kitchen. The onions, made it sweet. I added more..garlic and finished it off, plated up with parmesan cheese and sprinkle of basil. Over thin spaghetti. Ir was a hit, my husband loved it. So satisfying. Thank you! Barbara from FL.
Tran July 15, 2019
Glad you both enjoyed it so much! The addition of garlic and basil sounds great. Such an easy and delicious sauce.