Recipe: Marcella Hazan’s Super Simple (and Delicious) Tomato Sauce

Marcella Hazan, the ultimate Italian cooking maven (sorry Giada) passed away on Sunday. I first came to know of her by her renowned tomato sauce recipe, handed down by a coworker. Skeptical at first, because it only contained four very basic ingredients (canned tomatoes, onion, butter, and salt), I tried it, and fell in love with its simplicity and depth of flavor. I am now convinced that butter does make everything better!



Here is the recipe from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.

Tomato Sauce
Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta


2 cups tomatoes, with their juices (for example, a 28-ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes)
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and cut in half


1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter and the onion halves in a saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.
2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, 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.

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