One of the joys of summer is having a neighbor with a bountiful garden. My tomato plants were pretty mediocre performers this year. But my neighbor, Steve, had a bumper crop. He recently gave us a large sack of plum tomatoes, the kind that are perfect for making sauce. I took a few to cut up in salads, but Robin went for the sauce making.
A Classic 3-Ingredient Sauce
No mention of homemade tomato sauce is complete without a salute to the sauce diva, Marcella Hazan. She was to Italian cooking what Julia Child was to French cuisine. I did a post on her years ago, that includes her Ten Commandment of Cooking. Definitely worth a read.
Hazan is revered on the Internet for her classic, 3-ingredient tomato sauce made with onions and butter. It’s incredibly simple and involves no chopping,
You put a large can of good tomatoes (fresh, or San Marzano or Muir Glen Organic) in a pot, add a medium yellow onion cut in half (later removed), and 5 tablespoons of butter. (I couldn’t help but recall what Julia Child said, “With enough butter, you can make anything taste good.”) Simmer all together for 45-60 minutes.
When I cook the Hazan sauce, I venture to dabble with the ingredients. I found that when I add a bit of black pepper, red pepper flakes and sugar, I like it even better. Robin stuck with the basic recipe and was quite pleased.
Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Ingredients: (Serves 6)
- 2 lbs. fresh, ripe tomatoes (blanched, skinned and chopped), or one 28 oz. can Italian tomatoes (San Marzano or Muir Glen Organic), cut up, with their juice
- 5 Tbs. butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
- Salt to taste
Put tomatoes in saucepan and add the butter, onion, and salt. Cook, uncovered, on low, maintaining a steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until sauce thickens and fat floats free from the tomato.
Stir occasionally, mashing up large pieces of tomato using the back of a wooden spoon.
Season with salt. Before tossing with pasta, you may remove the onion (as Hazan does), or chop and leave it in or add using food processor. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.