tomato sauce with onion & butter

Let’s talk tomato sauce, shall we?

Tomatoes and I go way back. In elementary school, when all my friends were chomping down on apples in their lunch, I was “that girl” diving into a fresh tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper. My mom would cut the ends off, tupperware it, and send me on my way. To this day, a vine-ripened tomato is still one of my favorite snacks. Take a look at the nutritional information:

-low in sodium and carbohydrates

-chock full of Vitamins E, B6, A,C, and K

-a good source of Folate, Magnesium, and Potassiun

You can’t complain about chowing down on that, now can you?

To me, you can put tomatoes on anything and I will be as happy as can be. One thing in particular, one thing that I’ve always loved, is a good tomato sauce. And no, I’m not talking about any of the canned sauces you can pick up at the grocery store (I always thought that, no matter what the “flavor” was, that all canned sauces tasted the same!). I’m talking slow cooked, homemade, thesecretingredientislove kind of tomato sauce. When you know what is going into your sauce, and you know that it simmered away for hours, you’re getting the real deal. My mom had an arsenal of great sauces she would rotate through when we were growing up, and today, I’m going to introduce to my favorite one. Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter.

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Photo 2014-01-21 05.06.02 PM

It’s as simple as it sounds. San Marzano tomatoes are simmered low and slow with sweet white onions and unsalted butter, until the flavors marry and all you’re left with is a velvety smooth, rich, and luscious sauce. The combination of flavors is unmatched by any other sauce, in my opinion, and pairs well with any type of pasta. It is also amazing as the basis for any tomato-sauce-based casserole (think lasagna, baked ziti, etc.).

Be sure, when shopping for ingredients, that you use San Marzano tomatoes. These beauties have a stronger taste than regular Roma tomatoes, and are slightly sweeter and less acidic than their relatives. Many chefs consider these the best tomatoes to use in pastes, sauces, and the like – and in my humble opinion, I couldn’t agree more.

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Tomato Sauce with Onion & Butter

This particular amount will make at least 4 servings; feel free to scale back on the amount if you’re only cooking for one or two. However, this sauce freezes so well, you’ll definitely want to make at least the size listed below. 

{“original” mom recipe, adapted minimally from Smitten Kitchen}

Two 28 ounce cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes

2-3 tbsp. unsalted butter*

2 large white onions, halved

salt, to taste (I typically don’t use any)

In a medium saucepan, add the San Marzano tomatoes and their liquid, the halved onions, and the butter. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a vigorous simmer, but not to a boil. Scale back the heat, and simmer over low heat for about an hour. You’ll start to see the top shimmer with the melted butter, and the onions will turn soft and become translucent. Serve with your favorite pasta, fresh or packaged.

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*the link above uses slightly more butter than I call for in my recipe. I don’t feel that you need that much butter in the sauce; you want to taste it, certainly, but you also don’t want the flavor of the butter to overpower the lovely tomato and onion combination. Feel free to use as much, or as little, as you like!

7 thoughts on “tomato sauce with onion & butter

  1. Pingback: fresh tagliatelle pasta | kitchen konfidential

  2. Pingback: roasted spaghetti squash | kitchen konfidential

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