Classic Italian tomato sauce


There’s no good pasta without a good pasta sauce. Although there are dozens of different pasta sauces available in the stores, making a homemade pasta sauce is a lot simpler it may first seem. What is more, making a fresh pasta sauce gives you a chance to give it a special touch by adding your favourite flavours to the sauce base.

This time we provide you with a trick used by a famous Italian-American cookbook author Marcella Hazan. Hazan’s tomato sauce can be tweaked by every cook by adding different herbs, flavours and anything else of your liking. In her famous cookbook “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” Marcella Hazan lists only 4 ingredients that make the base of the classic Italian tomato sauce:

  • 1 smaller onion (halved)
  • 800 g canned (cherry) tomatoes (pureed)
  • 2-5 tbsp butter
  • salt

Start making the sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan. Add the tomato puree, the halved onion and a pinch of salt. Mix. Boil the sauce at a medium heat until you see the first bubbles appearing. Then reduce the heat and continue cooking until the sauce has thickened. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush the bigger tomato pieces still in the sauce. Taste, add some salt, if necessary. Eliminate the onion halves and serve the sauce with your favourite pasta.

Have a great pasta time!

PS Adding butter to a tomato sauce may at first seem a little unexpected, especially if you consider the importance of olive oil in the Italian cuisine. Adding the butter makes the sauce smoother since it lowers the acidity of the canned tomatoes. In addition to that, using butter in Italian dishes is as common as using olive oil, for example in the Emilia Romagna region where the famous Bolognese sauce was born.