Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

My mother’s tomato, butter, and onion sauce unfailingly elicits feelings of comfort and well-being. Its ability to wash away fatigue and anxiety is almost miraculous, and its preparation borders on alchemy. Who would think that simply putting tomatoes, a peeled halved onion, butter, and salt in a pot and cooking it with barely an occasional stir until it is reduced, would produce such concentrated goodness? In my freezer there is always a batch, ready to be defrosted and enjoyed in the time it takes to cook some pasta. —Giuliano Hazan, author of Hazan Family Favorites: Beloved Italian Recipes (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2012)

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce enriched with onion and butter needs little tending to while it cooks and freezes well for a quick meal down the road.
Yield: makes 3 cups


  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 14 tsp. sugar
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring butter, sugar, tomatoes, and onion, to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and sauce is slightly reduced, about 45 minutes. Discard onion, and season sauce with salt and pepper before serving.

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