Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6 servings


2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes or a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes with juices

5 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half


Preparation Steps

1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.

2. Cook uncovered at a very slow but steady simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with a spoon. Add salt as needed.

3. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta. This recipe makes enough sauce for a pound of pasta.

Notes: This is perhaps the most famous recipe created by Marcella Hazan, the cookbook author who changed how Americans cook Italian food. It also may be her easiest. Use your favorite canned tomatoes for this and don’t be scared off by the butter. It gives the sauce an unparalleled velvety richness.

Notes from Beth:

This recipe is the simplest of all tomato sauces to make. No need to buy jars of prepared sauce once you’ve tried this one.

I often leave in the onion because it is so yummy when it cooks into the sauce. You could chop it into smaller pieces if you plan to do that. Or leave in large chunks, remove from the sauce before using and eat it as a side with almost anything else.