By MarraMamba on December 26, 2007
Photo by Redsie
Photo by Redsie
"In its very simplicity lie the secrets. This sauce is incredible. It has 3 ingredients, and no chopping. The amateurgourmet calls it Marcella Hazan's CRAZY tomato sauce. This is not your thick pasty sauce, it is a light luscious wonder. Add garlic or basil or mozzarella to it as you choose but try it this way first. The butter..DON'T switch to olive oil, it makes the sauce."
Serving Size: 1 (172 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 4
"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..."
"This was wonderful and so simple. The extra cooking time really turns the tomatoes from acidic to sweet. Lovely sauce, thank you!"
"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?"
"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!"
"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."
"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."
"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"
"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."
"This is the most luscious, delicious, pleasing tomato sauce I know of. Specifically, I use a 28 ounce can of whole peeled san marzano tomatoes, 5 tbsp salted butter (and I don't add additional salt), and a halved onion. There is nothing more pleasing than this sauce lightly coated on al dente pasta. Perfection."
"Some of the reviewers think this sauce is overrated..but...I use this recipe for everything...and...people rave over it. My kids, co-workers & friends beg me for this sauce on angel hair pasta and lasagne. I use two large cans of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes (whole foods & health food stores carry them) and add a pinch of sugar to tone down the acid. I then add about 1 1/2 lbs of a combination of ground beef (or ground buffalo) combined with italian sausage that has been browned in a frying pan. I pour off the juices and add to tomatoe mixture and that's it! I'm a vegetarian so I take about a cup of the tomatoe mixture out before adding meats. It's wonderful on angel hair pasta!"
"I too, like rustic girl, liked the recipe but the spectacular ratings escape me. I would much rather spend a little more time and effort and go for a fresh pommodoro sauce or that all day gravy."
"Very nice but I simply don't get the 'spectacular' reviews. It's definitely a great recipe for a week night when you're exhausted and want to cook something fast, healthy and cheap so it gets 4 stars for that. But the flavour doesn't come close to a traditional sauce that's simmered for a couple of hours with basil, etc. added."
"I have been making this for years and still love it. It's cheap, easy and delicious! I agree try it exactly as written the first time, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good it is like that. I think the most important thing is add enough salt/pepper ( I add a little sugar) at the beginning. It gives the extra liquid the salt creates time to cook out. I have made it and kept the onion in and and have removed it- I definitely prefer it removed as the flavor of the onion is now in the sauce and the onion is pretty flavorless by that point."
"Was missing some tomato sauce for a recipe - so glad I found your recipe!! So easy and oh so tasty!! Only change I made was to use diced tomatoes. Thanks! :)"
"This has become my favorite tomato sauce. It's great as it is, but I usually chop the onions and leave them in. You can also add some garlic and bail or parsley, though those are not necessary for a good sauce. I've also used it for spaghetti and meatballs."
"When I first saw this recipe, I wondered just how good it could be with only 3 or 4 simple ingredients. I used a 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, which measured out to almost 2 cups. The only onion I had was already chopped, so that's what I used, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. As someone else also mentioned, I tasted the sauce in the pan and thought it was ok. But something happened when I put it on the spaghetti...OMG!!!! This is absolutely wonderful! I honestly don't think I'll ever use any other kind of sauce for my spaghetti. Thank you for this treasure!"
"Since my opinion diverges so sharply from everyone else's, it seems fairer to post a comment sans stars since it may just be my tastebuds at fault. I used high-quality ingredients and followed directions to the letter. But, in all honesty, this was a huge disappointment. Despite my late efforts to salvage the sauce (adding sauteed garlic, fresh basil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and lots of freshly-grated Parmesan), it still tasted exactly like what it was -- a can of tomatoes that had been heated. Although Marcella Hazan is a very talented chef, I would have to agree that this particular recipe is "crazy"."
"I brought Marcella's book via Amazon (not being from the US I didn't grow up with her books etc). I made this sauce one night and it was amazing - we just ate it tossed through pasta with a sprinkling of parmagiano on the top, just amazing (we also fought over the last two spoonfuls of pasta but that's a whole other story!). This is my new standby, I use it for homemade pizza etc too as a base sauce."
"This is sooo easy, and the results are amazing. Vidalia onions are in season, so I used those, and a bit of fresh basil. Served over angel hair pasta,& topped with freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano, this sauce was restaurant quality! I want to try it with a few sliced mushrooms next time. Great recipe."