I guess I’m a little late to the table in appreciating Marcella Hazan’s four ingredient tomato sauce recipe that took the internet by storm a few years ago but what the heck, I just made it and it’s rather brilliant so here you go.
Although I have Marcella’s book I first came across the recipe in my copy of “Genius Recipes” from my favorite food blog Food 52. If you don’t have a copy of it, you can click on the little picture below to get your own copy!
The original recipe calls for 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (skins removed) or 2 cups of canned Italian peeled tomatoes, 5 tablespoons of butter, 1 medium onion peeled and cut in half and a little salt as necessary.
You simply put the tomatoes, butter, onion and salt into a saucepan and cook uncovered on a low simmer for ~45 minutes with the occasional stir and then serve the sauce (onion removed) with your favorite cooked pasta.
This was the first time I’d tried this recipe so I didn’t want to mess around with it too much. I’m not really one for measuring out stuff (probably the reason I suck at baking) so I used a 28oz can of Muir Glen Organic whole peeled tomatoes, 1 stick of unsalted butter (so I could control the salt), half of a really large onion, 1 slightly crushed garlic clove and a large pinch of Maldon sea salt and sugar. The basil plant on my windowsill is on its last legs so I threw in a little chopped basil towards the end.
With only the occasional bash and squish of the tomatoes, after 1 hour I had the most delicious, rich tomato sauce. Like must stop ripping pieces of bread off and dipping them in the sauce good. I also chopped off the little green bits at the top of each canned tomato.
This would be a great recipe to scale up if you have a bunch of friends over and you’re looking for an affordable yet yummy pasta dish. Next time I plan on adding a few red chili flakes.