Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Buttery Tomato Sauce

Yes, John made fresh homemade pasta again.  Life is rough out here for me.  

Naturally, to compliment his delicious fettuccine, I needed to try a new sauce recipe.  This one is one of the simplest recipes on the planet, and it provides a rich, delicious sauce that you will use again and again.  Plus it has the added benefit of a) allowing those of us who chop onions to get out of the task this time (i.e. me), and b) allowing those of us who do not like onions to feel like they aren't actually eating them (i.e. John).

Other than the garlic, which I decided to throw in later, all you need are a 28 oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes, one medium onion, and 5 tablespoons of butter.  Butter being the star of the show, as it often is.  Oh and kosher salt to taste. 

Dump your can of whole, peeled tomatoes in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat. 

Peel an onion and cut it in half.  Add the halves to the tomatoes and marvel in how easy this recipe is.  This onion stewing method allows you to get some of the onion juices and flavor without any of the actual onion in the dish. 

Now throw in your 5 tablespoons of butter.  I realize how ridiculous this looks.  But considering it made 4 servings for us, that's only 1.25 tablespoons of butter per serving.  How reasonable.  (Defensive much?)

It will take awhile for your butter to melt, but just stir it occasionally and watch your sauce turn richer and richer. 

It transforms from that dark red color to a more red-orange (or is it orange-red) Crayola crayon color.  Bring it to a low boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes.  Through the cooking process use a wooden spoon to smash the tomatoes against the side of the pot.  After 45 minutes remove your onions and discard.  Easy peezy.  Peasy? 

Near the end I did a taste test and decided I needed to add some garlic.  5 cloves to be exact.  Depending on your garlic-affinity you may want a little bit less.  I just used the garlic press right into the pot and cooked it another 10 minutes or so.  I also added some kosher salt because it needed an extra boost.  Depending on your particular batch of canned tomatoes, you might not need any salt. 

After my tomato-mashing my sauce is looking just chunky enough.  Yum. 

As with all sauces, I highly recommend tossing your pasta with the sauce in a place other than your plate, so that the pasta gets coated evenly.  I also highly recommend marrying someone who makes you homemade pasta.  Tis not to be missed, my friends. 

Buttery Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4

28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if possible)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
1-5 cloves pressed garlic, depending on your garlic preferences
Kosher salt

Place 28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes, 1 halved and peeled yellow onion, and 5 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a low boil then lower the burner to simmer the sauce slowly for 45 minutes.  Stir the sauce occasionally, and use a wooden spoon to smash the tomatoes against the side of the pot.  Add in pressed garlic near the end of cooking time.  Discard the onion halves and add kosher salt to taste.  Serve with 1 pound of pasta. 


  1. Yum! That looks great! I think I'll put it on the menu for next week. :)

  2. Since we've started cooking a lot in our house, I must say it's rather disturbing just how much butter we go through in a week. I'm almost embarassed. But not really because butter is SOOOOOOOOOO good.

  3. hmm, do you like this tomato sauce or the "blink and you'll be done" tomato sauce better? i'll be making one of your sauces this saturday w/ pasta(carbo loading night).


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