marcella hazan’s tomato sauce
A few years ago, I texted this to Whitney before an evening class:
“Surprise! You’re in charge of dinner! Grab a big can of San Marzano tomatoes and a yellow onion at HEB. Peel the onion and throw it in a pot with the tomatoes and a 1/2 stick of butter. Bring to simmer and leave it alone until I get home. Love you!”
And then, upon further consideration, a minute later:
He texted back:
“That’s it? That’s all I need to do?”
Yes, that is all. That is the beauty of this recipe. The simple ingredients and uncomplicated process allows the pure flavor of the San Marzano tomatoes to shine.
When I heard Marcella Hazan passed away this week, I realized how long it had been since I’d made this lovely sauce. So I pulled out a can of San Marzano tomatoes, an onion and a stick of butter. Then I poured a glass of wine and inhaled the aroma of fresh, sweet sauce cooking on my stove.
Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce
1 can (28 oz.) San Marzano tomatoes, whole and peeled
1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
5 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. pasta
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
In a medium saucepan, add the tomatoes and use your hand to gently break them up. Add the onion halves and the butter. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir to incorporate the butter. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta until al dente. When the sauce is done, remove the onions and stir in the drained pasta.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.