This is the simplest sauce that I know how to make for all types of pasta dishes- including the lasagne with fresh ricotta that my family joked about on the weekend.... Yes I made the sauce too! Would have made fresh pasta sheets if husband hadn't stopped me.
The original recipe is from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking: Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter, but in good Italian Grandma fashion we started using what ever was on hand to make it. Our recipe as it stands goes a little something like this.
- The original recipe calls for 2 lbs of fresh tomaotes or 2 cups canned tomatoes and liquid. I sometimes combine fresh and canned together if I don't have enough of either or. Peel and core fresh tomatoes, roughly chop in halves or quarters.
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut in half.
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, peel and lightly bruised (not in original recipe).
- Roughly 1/4 cup butter quartered.
- 2-3 tbsp Olive oil (the original recipe doesn't call for any but if you have a good one, use it).
- Season to taste with salt & pepper.
Use olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy bottomed sauce pan and add all the ingredients, turn to medium high, bring tomato liquid to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Stir and check every once in a while. When tomatoes get soft, start smooshing them with a wooden spoon. Depending on how soft and harmonious you want your sauce, will determine the final cooking time. We usually cook ours for an hour or more. The longer you cook it the richer the sauce will be. Once you reach your desired consistency remove the onion and the garlic.
It is that simple.
There is a lot of room to play with this recipe, adding capsicum peppers, or dried chili, slow cooking a couple whole basil leaves or adding other classic Italian seasonings such as rosemary or oregano.
photo by me.