Marcella Hazan's Tomato Butter Sauce

This sauce is a legendary recipe from Italian cooking goddess Marcella Hazan. It was introduced to me by another cooking goddess, my friend Liz Calderon. I was amazed by how easy it was to make and how singular the flavor was. I have made it a billion times since, and am still blown away by it every time. 3 simple ingredients. Barely any effort. Endless (and delicious) pay-off.


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


1 Stick high quality butter

1 28oz can of tomato puree, San Marzano if possible

1 large onion, halved

1 lb. pasta

Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


Boil the pasta in salty water. 


While our carbs get al dente, take a small saucepan and submerge your onion halves and butter into the tomato puree (bonus points if you create a smiley face out of them).


Place the saucepan on the stove and simmer on medium-high for about 5 minutes. The butter will start to melt and you'll smell the onion cooking.


Here is the easiest yet hardest part: Lower your heat as low as it goes, step away from the stove, and leave your pot UNCOVERED alone for the next hour to hour and a half. Do. Not. Stir during this time. Literally, don't even touch the pan. Pretend it never happened. When the contents of the pan look like picture 5 & 6 below, we have reached Tomato Butter Sauce Nirvana.


Remove the pan from stove, and grab a bowl, a whisk, and some tongs. Gently remove the onion halves and set aside safely in a bowl to do one of the following with latter:

  • Eat as is.

  • Chop up into a relish and serve with meat.

  • Chop up and serve on toast with ricotta or other cheese.

  • Throw them into a vegetable soup.

  • Blend part of them back into the Tomato Butter Sauce, which many people do, but I do not!

Grab your whisk and mix the tomato puree, clarified butter, and delicious memory of onion together until 3 become 1.


And there she is—our perfect tomato sauce with a flavor unlike anything you've ever tasted. Serve over orrechiette or rigatoni with a sprinkle of grated pecorino or parmesan, and prepare to become obsessed.

 

Side note: I typically don't put any fresh herbs on top. It doesn't need it. Also, if I want meat with this meal, I cook it separately and serve it on the side. More often that not, I choose onion option 2 and make a relish for said meat, and it's perfection.



Make it step-by-step with me below!


LET'S DO THIS ONE STEP AT A TIME:

1. Your holy trinity: 1 stick high quality butter, 1 28oz can of tomato puree and 1 large onion, halved

2. In a small sauce pan, submerge your onion halves and butter in the tomato puree. Obviously create a face. We always are making faces with food here at GrossyPelosi.

3. Place pan on stove and simmer on medium high for about 5 minutes. The butter will start to melt and you will start to smell the onion cooking.

4. Here is the easiest and hardest part: Lower your heat to its lowest setting, step away from the stove, and leave your pot (UNCOVERED) for an hour to hour and a half. DO NOT STIR. Honestly, don't even touch. When the contents of the pan look like this, we have reached Tomato Butter Sauce Nirvana.

5. Remove pot from stove. Grab a bowl, a whisk and some tongs.

6. Gently remove the onion halves and place in bowl and set aside.


There are so many things you can do this with delicious onion. Here are a few:

  • Eat it as-is.

  • Chop it up into a relish and serve with meat.

  • Chop it up and serve it on toast with ricotta or other cheese.

  • Throw it into a vegetable soup.

  • Blend part of it back into the Tomato Butter Sauce. Many people do this, I do not!

7. Grab your whisk and mix the tomato puree, clarified butter, and delicious memory of onion together until 3 become 1.

8. And there she is—our perfect tomato sauce with a flavor unlike anything you've ever tasted. Serve over orrechiette or rigatoni with a sprinkle of grated pecorino or parmesan, and prepare to become obsessed.

Side note: I typically don't put any fresh herbs on top. It doesn't need it. Also, if I want meat with this meal, I cook it separately and serve it on the side. More often that not, I choose onion option 2 and make a relish for said meat, and it's perfection.


Enjoy!