Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce takes a little bit of time but minimal effort. Three basic pantry ingredients – tinned tomatoes, butter and an onion, make the most delicious and silky sauce that is perfect for pasta.
Simple Tomato Sauce
After you taste this tomato pasta sauce, you will never be able to believe its humble origin. This recipe, made famous by Marcella Hazan, is made up from pantry staples. Just three ingredients – tinned plum tomatoes, butter and an onion sliced in half (okay, four ingredients if you include salt).
Tomato Butter Sauce
Butter is the magic ingredient in this tomato sauce – it cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes to create a rich, velvety sauce so good you won’t be able to stop licking the spoon. You can substitute the butter with some very good quality olive oil if you want to make this dairy free.
Tomato Pasta Serving Suggestions
This sauce is made for pasta – toss freshly cooked bucatini and a little dash of pasta water in this simple tomato sauce for the most simple but delicious meal. Shavings of parmesan or a dollop of burrata are heavily encouraged toppings.
I also love this sauce with classic spaghetti and meatballs or as a Sugo alternative for homemade pizzas. Tomato butter sauce also makes an excellent dip for arancini or mozzarella sticks. You can jazz it up a little with some fresh herbs, though it really doesn’t need it.
- Peeled Plum Tomatoes – get the best quality you can afford, since they are the star of the show. I like Cirio. You can use chopped tomatoes, but they are typically more watery.
- Butter – again, use the best quality you can afford. I typically use salted butter for this recipe, as the salt really makes the flavour sing.
- Onion – a basic white onion, peeled and sliced in half. You can also use a few whole peeled shallots.
- Salt – a dash to taste.
This Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce will keep in the fridge for 2 days. You can also freeze it – I like to make a big batch and freeze single portions for quick and easy meals.
I use this 20cm/2.4l Round Casserole when cooking this tomato sauce.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More easy and delicious pasta recipes:
Recipe adapted from The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
Simple Tomato Pasta Sauce
- Heavy Bottom Casserole Dish or Dutch Oven
- 800 grams peeled plum tomatoes 2 regular sized tins
- 75 grams salted butter
- 1 white onion peeled and sliced in half
- salt to taste
- 400 grams pasta of your choice cooked to packet instructions
- grated parmesan cheese
- Add the onion, tomatoes and butter into a heavy bottomed pan (I use a 20cm/2.4l cast iron casserole).
- On a medium heat, bring the pot to a simmer – you don't want to let it fully boil.
- Turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally and lightly crushing the whole tomatoes as you stir.
- Remove the onion and add salt to taste.
- Toss with freshly cooked pasta and serve sprinkled with parmesan.