The Easiest (and Best) Tomato Sauce Recipe

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Tomatoes. Onion. Butter. 45 minutes.

That's all you need to make what is the best -- and easiest -- tomato sauce out there.

>>RELATED: Check out our 9 Weeknight Pasta Dishes.

The full, true tomato flavor is a revelation in itself -- as is finding out you don't need to cook in all those layers of garlic and herbs and whatnot to get there (and you might even be better off without them).

>>RELATED: See our 7 Easy Summer Tomato Recipes.

The recipe even is tailored perfectly to a 28-ounce can of good-quality tomatoes -- or, for a change of pace, use the ripe, plump, shiny tomatoes that you can find this season. Whatever you choose, just add an onion, swirl in some butter, and simmer away. Get ready for a revelation.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Serves 6, enough to sauce 1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta

2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below, or 2 cups canned imported Italian tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt to taste

1. If using fresh tomatoes: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them into coarse pieces. OR: Freeze tomatoes on a baking sheet until hard. Thaw again, either on the counter or under running water. Skin them and cut them into coarse pieces.

2. Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.

3. Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.

4. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing with pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table.

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