Today I'm going to do what a bagillion bloggers have done before me and post a recipe for simple tomato sauce.
I first saw it on Smitten Kitchen a little while ago. Then I saw it on my friend Mara's blog not long ago (yea for blogging bringing together friends from over 24 years ago!). And so it was decided: I had to try it.
This recipe requires 5 ingredients total:
whole canned tomatoes
It takes a full 2 minutes to get the sauce ready. I know, longer than it takes to open a jar of tomato sauce, but seriously not much longer.
Open canned tomatoes. Place in pan.
Slice onion in half. Place in pan.
Unwrap butter. Place in pan.
Seriously folks- does life get any easier than this?!?
Then all you do is simmer the sauce for 45 minutes, popping in periodically to stir the sauce (and maybe have a little taste...)
After that just pour some on pasta and that's it. Dinner is served.
At first I didn't really think I'd like the sauce that much. Tasting the tomatoes straight out of the can they were OK, but pretty plain. How could butter and onions make THAT big of a difference?
Well, I don't exactly know how, but they DID. I think the onions really mellowed out and sweetened the sauce just enough. And the butter, well, butter makes everything taste amazing.
So why should you bother even trying to sauce? Let me try to convince you.
1. It's probably one of the easiest things I've ever made in my entire life. And it's delicious. So just make it already!
2. Yes, whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce is pretty damn good for you. But do you know how much sugar is sometimes added to jarred pasta sauces? The numbers will shock you. With a recipe like this you can add whatever you like (spices, cheese, even sugar if you like...) but at least you know exactly what's going into it.
3. The texture of the sauce was pretty close to perfect. Chunky and not too watery.
Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking
28 ounces (800 grams) whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)*
5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter
1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt to taste
Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion*, add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.
Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese to pass.
*It tells you to throw away the onion, but that's just wrong. Stewing in the sauce the onion completely softens and cooks in tomato-y deliciousness. So I saved them and just ate them as-is :)