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Ravioli with sauce on a white plate

Tomato Sauce #1

A tomato sauce that works beautifully with your favorite pasta or flatbread

Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pasta sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Author Marcella Hazan


  • 1 28 oz can whole, peeled Italian tomatoes preferably San Marzano
  • 1 white onion cut in half from root to stem
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Blend tomatoes in blender to desired consistency. I prefer my sauce smoother. You certainly can leave them whole and crush them right in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Peel onion, cut in half, trim shaggy roots and add to the pan. Add the butter a little salt and pepper (about 1 tsp of salt and maybe 1/2 tsp of pepper to start). Simmer for 45 minutes uncovered until the fat starts to separate from the tomatoes. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Of course, you can add red pepper too!

Recipe Notes

So versatile. Add crushed red pepper, fresh basil but keep it simple.