Buttery Tomato Sauce

Smitten Kitchen posted about Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with butter, and it seemed like the perfect thing to serve over spaghetti for dinner.

The recipe is very simple: a 28 ounce can of good quality Italian tomatoes simmered with an onion cut in half and 5 Tbl. of butter (plus salt to taste).

The recipe reminded me of an anecdote I had heard about James Beard. Someone (I forget who) remembered him dumping an entire stick of butter in a vat of tomato sauce to correct excess acidity. The sauce became velvety and delectable.

In Beard on Pasta there a Light Tomato Sauce  (see also here) that is nearly identical to the Hazan recipe, except that the onion is sliced, and Beard calls for the addition of a bit of dried basil.

On Chowhound, this recipe has ardent fans and some detractors. It may be that the type of canned tomatoes used makes a huge difference. I used Cento whole San Marzano tomatoes with basil, which made a delicious sauce.

The sauce is bland, though. Not bad bland. The sauce highlights the pure sweetness of tomato. When I reheated the sauce with some spaghetti, I added some black pepper and red pepper flakes and that was quite nice.

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One Response to “Buttery Tomato Sauce”

  1. kat Says:

    That sauce is my new go-to sauce! I made it for the first time the other night and it’s incredibly easy! Please check out my post on it and let me know what you think! I’m new to blogging :)
    http://shecooksandheeats.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/i-want-me-some-meatballs-and-spaghetti/

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