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Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion Served in a White Bowl and Parmesan Cheese and Italian Bread

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion - Marcella Hazan

An easy and out of this world delicious tomato sauce from one of the legends in Italian cooking.
Course Pasta, Potatoes, Rice & Grains
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 -6 Servings
Calories 248kcal
Author Creative Culinary


  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes or 3 cups canned whole, peeled tomatoes with their juice (true confession; I just use 2 cans of organic, diced tomatoes.
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp salt


  • If using fresh tomatoes, peel them. Coarsely chop the canned or peeled tomatoes.
  • Trim both ends of the onion, peel it and cut it in half lengthwise.
  • Put the tomatoes, onion, butter and salt into a 4-5 qt saucepan over medium heat.
  • When the tomatoes begin to bubble, lower the heat to a slow but steady simmer.
  • Cook, stirring every 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are no longer watery and the sauce has reduced, about 45 minutes.
  • The sauce is done when the butter has separated from the tomatoes and there is no remaining liquid.
  • Remove the onion and serve the sauce over freshly cooked pasta.


While Marcela's original recipe indicates the onions are discarded I say nope...I pull them from the sauce and serve them on the side. They are soft and mellow and sweet...they're eaten here!


Serving: 18 | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 423mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 20g