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Food

Simple Stay-home Recipes: Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce With Onion & Butter

Last Updated: June 2, 2020

Written by Wani

I don’t know about you, but I love finding new ways to easily meal prep a big batch of food in the quickest amount of time. For so long, I’ve been wanting to venture into making my own sauces and broths, and this ‘Circuit Breaker’ period has granted me the time to find a recipe that was amazingly quick and required little to no prep.

That’s when I came across Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce With Onion & Butter—it literally uses three ingredients, has only one prep step and happens to be her most famous recipe. This renowned cookbook author changed the way Americans cook authentic Italian food, and this recipe is a time-tested gem from her 1973 Classic Italian Cookbook.

With our simple stay-home recipe series having highlighted some famous recipes this past week, let’s end this one with a saucy staple that’s incredibly versatile, you’ll want to make multiple batches of this and add any combination of protein and veggies along with it!


Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes (any brand of your choice)
  • 1 yellow onion, cut in half
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • A pinch of salt (to taste)

Tools

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Pot
  • Stirring spoon

Recipe Preparation

Preparation time: 2 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes
Feeds six

  • Peel and cut 1 yellow onion in half.
  • Heat up a medium-sized pot and pour in 2 cans of diced tomatoes.
  • Add in 5 tablespoons of butter.
  • Throw in the yellow onion halves, add a pinch of salt, and stir everything well.
  • Set a timer for 45 minutes and let the pot simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure everything’s evenly cooked.
  • Once the 45 minutes is up, you can either choose to leave the onion in or remove them.

Recipe Preparation (In Pictures)

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 2

Step 1: Peel and cut 1 yellow onion in half.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 3 Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 4

Step 2: Heat up a medium-sized pot and pour in 2 cans of diced tomatoes.

Step 3: Add in 5 tablespoons of butter.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 5 Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 6

Step 4: Throw in the yellow onion halves, add a pinch of salt, and stir everything well.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 7

Step 6: Set a timer for 45 minutes and let the pot simmer, stirring occasionally to ensure everything’s evenly cooked.

Step 7: Once the 45 minutes is up, you can either choose to leave the onion in or remove them.


When this sauce is done, you can choose to use it as a pasta sauce, add in chicken or prawns, or even let it cool and store it for future use as a tomato sauce base for future recipes; the possibilities really are endless.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 9

What sets this recipe apart is the addition of ample butter. The butter created a luxurious, silky texture that is really welcoming to the palate.

In addition, the onions elevated the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, and if you’re really not averse to eating whole slices of onions, contributes a soft chewiness to the buttery sauce.

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 8

I left the onion in and I highly recommend you do too. This recipe is a time-saver and I can bet I’ll lean on this whenever I need a tomato sauce for my next recipe—no more store-bought sauces!

Let us know how you’d pimp up this sauce with your creative recipes; we’d love to hear from you.

Expected Damage: S$2 – S$3 per portion (feeds 6 pax)

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