Friday, February 26, 2010

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

My husband sent me a link to this post on Smitten Kitchen about an amazing pasta sauce.  She really raved about it, and quoted other bloggers who raved about our interest was peaked and we had to try it, especially since it is deceptively simple.  

The ingredient list: 

1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes {San Marzano is best}
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved {not chopped, just cut in half--I almost missed that one}
Salt to taste

Throw it all in a pan and simmer for 45+ minutes... it looks like this.

So we did this the first time without San Marzano's and was good sauce.  I think I was expecting more.  So I decided to try it with the San Marzano's.  I don't know if it's just Ohio, but at almost 5 dollars {!} a can it was a splurge for me... {are these cheaper where you live?} but I really wanted to see if there was a difference.  There was.  It was better....buuuuuuuuuut I'm still having a hard time believing all the hype.  We definitely used salt, pepper and some parmesan cheese--which apparently she didn't use.  

Again it was good, but I feel like I'm missing something, cuz was it that good?  Is my palette an unrefined wasteland tainted by years of jarred pasta sauce? {For the record I do make plenty of homemade pasta sauce using canned tomatoes.} Anyone else try this and love it?  Maybe you should so we can swap notes.   


  1. We made it the other night and I thought the exact same thing! I couldn't find the tomatoes they suggested so I thought that might be the issue. I also thought it might be my pot (I need a new one), but I pretty much just blamed it on my unrefined tastes. I mean, it was okay. But if I make it again it will be because it's so easy, not because it's the most delicious think I've ever tasted.

  2. Ryan went to Italy on his mission, so I've spent the last 8 years trying to make a good sauce. I'm no Italian mama, but I've definitely improved over the years. I use Pomi tomatoes--cheap in Italy, a little pricey here ($3-4), but good. I think the secret is cooking it longer. You have to cook the acid out, which can take hours. I really like the william sonoma bolognese sauce. I make big batches and freeze it. I'll email you the recipe if you don't have it.

  3. Good to know--thanks for being the guinea pig. I check her blog often and was going to make the sauce--maybe I'll hold off. I did make the granola bar recipe yesterday. If you do these leave out the refined sugar--not needed or it'll taste like a dessert. My first time making it I made her concoction, but next time I'll figure out my own combination. Mine were thick and chewy and they do keep well in the freezer and I think these would be a fun treat on a hike or something. I can't wait to find out what you are having (babywise) . . .

  4. Tomatoes, butter, and onions? I think the opposite - that your palette probably is refined - because butter doesn't add much flavor compared to most things. You're probably wanting some spices in there or something. No red pepper flakes, oregano, etc? Maybe it's in the tomatoes itself?

  5. I might try it. Here's my favorite sauce from my cousin who served in Italy.

    1 tsp. rosemary
    1 tsp. sage
    2 tsp. basil
    Saute in 1/2 c. butter with one beef bouillon cube.

    Add 28 oz. can tomatoes (I think stewed are the best for this, but I use whatever I have). Let it simmer for 20 min. Add 1/2 c. heavy cream at end. We love it. It's our favorite.

  6. weird, my friend was just telling me about this last night! She's traveled a lot to italy and was RAVING about it! although with 4 T of butter, almost anything tastes good, right?

  7. Anonymous11:30 PM


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