If you’re wondering who Marcella Hazan is, just imagine the Julia Child of Italian food. A lot of people credit her with introducing classic Italian cooking to the American population. I discovered this particular recipe in college, when just about every food blogger I followed was raving about it. I made it a lot when I was low on $- you only need 4 ingredients (including the pasta), which means you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen. You can use this as a base for more complicated sauces, but I haven’t been able to get past the original version yet.
My favorite Italian dishes are always the simple ones with high quality ingredients; summer caprese with the most delicious heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market, an arugula salad with parmigiano reggiano and a Meyer lemon vinaigrette; you literally cannot go wrong.
The butter softens the tomatoes in a way that olive oil just can’t, and the onion adds the tiniest bit of sweetness. Use the best quality canned tomatoes you can afford ( I always buy San Marzano but it’s proved a bit difficult to find them in Antigua).
Crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to help them along.
When you come back to the stove after a 45 minute simmer, the sauce will have transformed into a velvety, almost jam-like sauce.
Take the onion out (save it for later or eat on the side if you’re like me)
and toss with the best quality pasta you can find (mine was homemade). Never serve the pasta sauce on the side- it makes a big difference when you toss the pasta with the sauce over heat.
28 oz. Whole Peeled Tomatoes (from a can)
5 tbsp Unsalted Butter (I’ve used salted before and it turns out fine)
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Peeled & Cut in half (I used 2 small onions)
Salt to Taste
Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, and make sure to crush the tomatoes with the back of a spatula or spoon. Remove from heat, remove the onion (save for later or eat on the side if you’re like me), add salt to taste and serve with your favorite pasta. Offer grated parmesan cheese on the side, but many people find this sauce is perfect on it’s own.
If you have leftovers, do yourself a favor and use it as a Salsa Ranchera for eggs the next morning. Top with queso fresco and a side of avocado!