41 Reviews

Simple, straight-forward, no skill required. I had very unpleasant metallic-tasting results with Cento brand tomatoes, but the San Marzano tomatoes (with the white label) work for me every time. I make no changes until the end, when I add a generous squirt of the pulverized Italian herbs that come in a tube in the produce case (just like Grandma....) No matter what I put this sauce on - pasta, frittata, calamari, store-bought! meatballs - my husband seems surprised at how good it tastes and suggests that I make it again. Either the stuff is very versatile, or his memory is even worse than I thought. Freezes well, too. The sauce...not the husband...

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Nadacook December 26, 2014

I've been cooking this sauce occasionally for years. It is simple and delicious and the flavour is wonderful. This is NOT a sauce to use in other recipes, it is only for simply combining with pasta. I have the cookbook it's from and this is very clear in that (Marcella is always very clear, her tone is like a fairly strict schoolteacher I always think!). The recent comment comparing this sauce to Honey Boo Boo's "sketi" is purely idiotic and inappropriate - Marcella Hazan is about as far away from that as you can get. Also, Marcella does not dislike garlic but like most traditional Italian cooks she does not combine onion and garlic in a pasta sauce - it's one or the other.

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heatherbelleday August 11, 2015

You think this sauce is easy? Sure. But going to the store and buying a can of SpaghettiOs will provide you with the same flavor and is even easier. This sauce is a disgrace. Remember on the riveting show called 'Honey Boo Boo' when they mix ketchup and butter together to make their sauce? Same thing here. Never trust a cook that dislikes garlic.

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Cody Tyler Murphy June 24, 2015

This was wonderful and so simple. The extra cooking time really turns the tomatoes from acidic to sweet. Lovely sauce, thank you!

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sofie-a-toast August 21, 2014

Reasons for the 5 star: Tasted great. Inexpensive.<br/>I enjoyed the flavor immensely. It did not taste like tomatoes out of the can to me - I've made enough sauces that have. <br/>In this time of needing to extend our budgets - a can of tomatoes plus a little butter made into a great meal? Who can complain?

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Squeaky Worm August 30, 2013

I really enjoyed this sauce - it's light and a bit plain, but that's what I enjoyed most about it as the sauce was not the focal point of my meal. Definitely something easy to throw together on a weeknight. Thanks for sharing!

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HappyWife313 December 08, 2012

I had a ton of yellow tomatoes that hadn't turn yellow yet after the weather turned cold so I brought them into the house to vine ripen. After cooking them I put them through the food mill. To this I added the butter, garlic and onion salt, oregano, basil, salt, parsley and cayenne pepper. I simmered this for several hours. I like my sauce a little thicker so I added some cornstarch to just thicken enough to coat the spoon. Wow was this good. The secret is definitely the butter. I usually add a couple Tablespoons of butter to my gravies and soups but never thought of adding it to the tomato sauce. Thank you so much for posting. I promised next time I'll make it as written.

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Catnip46 November 05, 2012

I just made this this morning and had it over ravioli. I used a can of Cento San Marzano tomatoes (label said product of Italy).
This was not fabulous, OK but not outstanding. I think when using canned tomatoes, even San Marzano, the butter should be increased. The tinny tomato taste was there and it was acidic. But I now realize why the owner of a restaurant used to put pats of butter when heating sauce for an order.
I have been know to take canned tomato sauce, add some butter and chicken broth (Better than Bouillon), a pinch of basil and use that for ravioli.
I will try this again, when I can get some good tomatoes. I don't think the canned does it justice.

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Zanne101 October 12, 2011

I made this last night, and is getting 4 stars rather than 5 because I added things against the advice of the chef. I added garlic salt, basil and oregano. I also had made meatballs earlier in the day. I simmered these in the sauce for last 20 minutes. I used 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can whole plum tomatos. I will be making this again to have with my cheese stuffed shells and will be making as directed. I think I would have given this a 5 star rating if I had left it alone. I regretted the add ins once sauce was simmering a while and I saw where it was going, but too late I a had already added stuff. I will review again after I make the stuffed shells. This was wonderful to make, even though I had to make it after work. Few ingredients, and able to pretty much able to just let simmer while other things got done. I just wish I had left alone, and had been able to truly enjoy the flavors as they should have been. But I will be making this again most definetly

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bunnylove in NEW ENGLAND April 03, 2011

I guess all along the secret ingredient was butter. Who knew? I made a much larger quantity of this and added pine nuts and capers to the sauce. I did her recipe with the halved onion. I put the sauce over pasta with shrimp and mussels. That's what we had for dinner tonight. Maybe now, since I can make a great sauce, I can save money on going out to eat in the quest for the perfect sauce.

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ColeenfromPittsburgh November 14, 2010
The Simplest Tomato Sauce Ever (Marcella Hazan)