If you, like me, haven’t heard of this great great great sauce, here are the key things to know.
First, it tastes AMAZING. I might have mentioned that. Second, it only involves three ingredients and less than an hour of cooking.
Ingredient number one: tomatoes. You can use fresh (which is how I made it) or you can use canned. Which means you can make it all year round. Which I plan to do.
Second ingredient: an onion. You peel it and cut it in half and let it simmer in the sauce…but then you take it out at the end, so you are just getting a subtle taste of it.
Third ingredient? BUTTER. Because everything is better with butter.
Not THIS much butter, but this was the picture I had of butter, so I thought what the heck. It gets the point across.
So there you have it – tomato, onion, butter. Simmer for 45 minutes, then take the onion out and toss it. If you like your sauce chunky you are ready to roll. If you like it a little smoother, you can do what I did and give it a whirl with the immersion blender. Boil up some pasta and ladle it on. You can sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and fresh pepper if you want, but you don’t have to. Honestly, you almost don’t even need the pasta.
So, with thanks to the amazing Marcella Hazan, here’s the world’s best tomato sauce. Get ready to rock your pasta.
- 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped*, or 2 cups canned imported Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
- Salt to taste
- Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.
- Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.
- If you like your sauce smoother, whirl it with an immersion blender, or pour carefully into a regular blender and blend.
- Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing with pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table.
- *Peel fresh tomatoes by cutting a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato, plunging them into boiling water for one minute, scooping them out with a slotted spoon and then peeling with a paring knife when cool enough to handle.