Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce


Ever since I first made this sauce I’ve been a huge, HUGE fan. The recipe is seemingly everywhere and it’s so simple, so perfect, so delicious you just want to eat more and more of it… it’s Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce With Butter and Onion. Three ingredients (not including salt, but that hardly counts), but they come together in a way that defies explanation. The butter adds so much richness to the tomatoes, and the onion in the background just adds to the overall roundness and balance of the sauce. It’s my very favorite tomato sauce, and it comes together with pantry ingredients in under an hour.

Seriously, I beg you to try it the next time you want a weeknight treat. How to make it?

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

1 28-oz can of tomatoes– whole or diced

1 onion

5 tbs. butter

Salt to taste


  • Dump the tomatoes (do not drain) into a saucepan with the butter.
  • Peel your onion and cut it into chunks. Add to the saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, give it a few pulses to break up the onion into smaller pieces. (Note: the original recipe has you cut the onion in half and remove it entirely when the sauce is done cooking, but I prefer to include it in the sauce) Alternatively, you could use a fork to break up the tomatoes and leave your onion pieces whole.


  • Serve over freshly-cooked pasta with a generous grating of parmesan cheese. Dig in!



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