The Easiest (and Best) Tomato Sauce You’ll Ever Make

Tomato Sauce and Penne

Most of us the East Coast just went through a pretty sizable emotional (and environmental) rollercoaster these past few days. First off, last Tuesday I experienced my very first earthquake. Although thankfully the area didn’t sustain much damage to speak of, it still left most of New York City in an absolute frenzied panic and left me feeling just a little nauseous shook up.

And if that wasn’t enough, the entire coast went through a huge media buildup for what was for sure going to be the hurricane of the century. A real hurricane hadn’t hit New York City in about 200 years (1821 was the last time), and since we all handled the earthquake so gracefully only a few days ago, you can expect that people were pretty anxious this time around. It didn’t help matters that thousands of people had to be evacuated from their homes in NYC, Hoboken, and Jersey City, to escape lower-level areas by the water. We decided to stay put- and luckily avoided any damage to our home and car, and most importantly ourselves.

Needless to say, girl’s gotta eat some comfort food after all that.

Before the hurricane arrived last night, we were all advised to stock up on canned goods and non-perishable items. To prepare, I made us a loaf of Parmesan Peppercorn bread, and we bought tons of water, pretzels, and those Combos cheesey cracker things for the boyfriend. I also made a batch of my new favorite recipe for tomato sauce, which I recently found on one of my favorite food communities online, food52.

It defies reason that a recipe so simple can be so delicious. The perfect combination of tomatoes, onions, and time– not to mention a healthy dollop of butter!- really makes this sauce special. I’m not complaining though- this makes a real sub-$5 meal if you’re making pasta, or a great layer in lasagna or chicken parmesan.

The Easiest (and Best) Tomato Sauce You’ll Ever Make

From Marcella Hazan on Food52
Makes around 2 cups of sauce


  • 2 cups crushed, canned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • Salt to taste


1) 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.

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

3) Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing with cooked pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and freshly chopped basil for the table.

Tomato Sauce and Penne

Happy Eating 🙂

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