Perfect Pasta Sauce
If you say "Marcella Hazan's pasta sauce" although she has many, this is the one everyone will immediately think of. Three ingredients. Perfection. Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter. The name is the recipe.
I am not the first, nor the last I am sure, to share this recipe. It is a gem that should be in everyone's repertoire. Easy, homey, delicious.
I tried my hand at homemade pasta this past weekend for the Italian Grand Prix. It was fun, but my kitchen was like an explosion of flour with tea towels everywhere, strips of dough, boiling water, a churning pasta machine, and me running around nervous and off balance. Having this sauce just simmering on the back burner wafting the smell of melting onion, simmering butter, and softening tomatoes for the 45 minutes of pasta induced stress was positively lovely.
Although delicious, this sauce does not steal the show away from a delicate pasta, a flavorful gnocchi, or in this case a first crack at homemade pappardelle.
This picture doesn't do this dish justice. Homemade pasta, though tasty, is not very photogenic. And although the pasta was what took the time and energy to make, the sauce is what really pulled the meal together.
Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
1 to 1 ½ pounds pasta
Freshly grated parmesan
Put the tomatoes in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt. Cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes. Stir from time to time, mashing any large pieces of tomato. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.
Grate fresh parmesan over each individual bowl of pasta and sauce.