The only tomato sauce you need

Pardon me for writing about the most famous tomato sauce recipe on the planet—consider it a rite of passage, that every new food blogger must do at one point or another.
I’m talking about Marcella Hazan’s 3-ingredient sauce, that cooks in under an hour, and will blow away any previous tomato sauce you’ve ever had, including and especially ones that simmer for days or have tons of herbs or aromatics in them.
When I worked at Gourmet, it was just a given that all the food editors had quarts of the stuff in their freezers; when I made it for the first time, my husband, who spent a semester abroad in college at this Tuscan villa that sounded right out of a Bertolucci movie, said, “This tastes like the tomato sauce they served at the villa,” with exactly that Suisse Mocha kind of nostalgic reverie. Even I, who grew up in an Italian family that jokes about having sauce, not blood, coursing through its veins, was stunned by its deep flavor and simplicity.
But if testaments to the flavor alone won’t sway you, how’s this: You pop 2 cups of canned plum tomatoes (I usually just throw in 1 large can), 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, and 1 halved onion into a pot, then simmer it, uncovered, for 45 minutes. That’s it. Sometimes I find that it’s not even necessary to add salt. If for some reason you haven’t encountered it yet, I encourage you to give it a try, and I am sure that you, too, will find yourself proselytizing.


4 thoughts on “The only tomato sauce you need

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