How to make Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

We had a lovely dinner on Sunday, sharing our table with some friends, conversation, and good food. One dish I made was the now-famous Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter. All of the reviews you might have read about this sauce are simply true. It is smooth, rich and delicious!

It goes well with any meal plan you might want. Since we were cooking for a couple of dietary restrictions, I chose a simple meal of grilled chicken, baked polenta, this sauce and a couple of vegetable side dishes. Roasted cauliflower and braised swiss chard from the garden.

But let's return to the sauce. All the needed ingredients are pantry staples, making this a sauce to return to time and time again.

Marcella Hazen's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
adapted from Marcella Hazen
Makes about 3 cups, enough for one pound of pasta

1 28 oz can of top quality tomatoes, with juices
1 medium to large onion, peeled then cut in half crosswise
1/2 stick butter
1 T brown sugar (this is my addition, you may certainly leave this out)

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.
Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter.

Place all ingredients into a saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 45 minutes. Discard onion ( or save for adding to your next pot of soup),, mash tomato pieces with a potato masher if desired.

Serve over hot pasta.


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  1. I have heard a number of people talk about how delicious this sauce is. I need to go ahead and make it.

  2. I love meals that involve friends, good conversation and good food! I had heard about a tomato sauce made with butter - this sounds so interesting and it looks really delicious too. Thank you for sharing the recipe with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Pinned!

  3. Ok. I love the simplicity of that sauce. I am definitely going to try it. And I adore polenta (though I can see it'd be awesome on a lot of different things). I'd likely add some herbs.


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