Simply Delicious Tomato sauce for pasta

Remember how I said/wrote that simple cooking can be very delicious?  Or that delicious, nutritious home-cooking can be simple?  Either/any way, I’m here to tell you to make this tomato sauce the next time you don’t feel like cooking.  All it takes is a couple minutes in the kitchen — half of that is time spent with a can opener, and the other half cutting one onion in half.  That’s it.  Okay, peeling the onion too.  But put this in a pot on your stove, leave the kitchen and do something else for 35 minutes, and you will have a home-cooked meal you will be happy to call dinner.

This is an adaptation of Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.


1 can Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano — 28 oz

1 large onion, cut in half and peeled

3.8 oz butter (7-1/2 T)

Parmesan cheese, for topping a la table


  1. Open can.  Put tomatoes into large-ish sauce pot (so that simmering sauce does not sputter over).  I like to tear up tomatoes (and frankly, discard core/blossom end that is hard) as you put them into pot.  Pour any juice from can into pot.
  2. Cut ends off onion, and cut in half.  I do it lengthwise.  (I might try width-wise next to see if it prevents the onion from falling apart and having to fish around for it to remove at end.) Put into pot with tomatoes.
  3. Weigh out or measure butter and put into pot with a couple pinches of salt (assuming your butter is unsalted as it always should be in my world).
  4. Turn heat on to medium, bring to a simmer, lower heat, and simmer gently for 45 minutes or until “fat floats free from the tomato.”  (Whatever that means!)image
  5. Put water into large pot for pasta.  Penne and spaghetti are good here. I like the penne rigate, with ridges to catch the sauce.
  6. Cook pasta at end of sauce-cooking time.  Drain and serve under reasonable amount of sauce.  Grate on cheese.

Enjoy! Manga! Basta pasta!





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