In case you aren't yet acquainted with Marcella Hazan's iconic 3-ingredient tomato sauce, it is that good. If you're already a convert, carry on supping on this incredibly rich, well-balanced sauce; if you aren't, please (please!) simmer up a batch tonight.
Sure, the tomatoes (at least the canned ones) aren't going anywhere, but just think, each day you wait is one more day without a drop of this velvety sauce passing your lips. Now I get it, if you're anything like me, you too fear the overhyped, perhaps feeling that anything mainstream must be passé, or that your overblown expectations will surely exceed reality. Either way, cast all doubts aside, this sauce is not only stupid simple to prepare (three ingredients: that's it), it'll blow any and all competition out of the water.
Keep reading for the superlative recipe.
Real talk: I ate half the batch straight from the pot, spoon to mouth. Seriously.
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, or 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled and cored
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
Salt, to taste
Chiffonade of basil (optional)
- Place the tomatoes, butter, and halved onion in a medium saucepan (3 quarts or larger).
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes, or until the butter droplets separate from the tomato juices. Discard the onions.
- Using an immersion blender, pulse a few times to break up large chunks of tomato. Alternatively, run the sauce through a food mill, on the coarsest setting. Season to taste if necessary.
Serves 4-6; makes enough sauce to dress 1 pound pasta.
- Save the tomato-braised onion halves to serve finely-chopped as an accompaniment to sausage.
- While perhaps best in its most elemental state, glossed over strands of spaghetti, it could be slathered on pizza, layered in lasagna, or employed as a poaching liquid for eggs.