Cooking Project: Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce

Last week we were still waiting to move in our new place so for my first Cooking Project recipe I wanted to pick something easy so that I didn’t inadvertently destroy my friend’s kitchen. It was also late on a Friday night and I wanted something with minimal effort. Enter Marcella Hazan’s recipe for tomato sauce. I had heard about this recipe a few times over the years but for some reason just never tried it. It’s a very simple recipe – butter, onion and tomatoes. Plus some seasoning.

I’m a big fan of making tomato sauces from scratch, not in a snobby “I can’t believe anyone would use sauce from a jar” way as I do often have a jar in the cupboard for emergencies. I just think homemade sauce is really easy to make and it tastes so much better. Plus you feel fancy as fuck.

Anyway, this was a really simple dish to start the challenge with. I melted the butter (there seemed to be a lot of butter so I used half of what that recipe above said to) , cut a small onion in half and then used a tin of peeled plum tomatoes. When it comes to tinned tomatoes I usually don’t buy really expensive brands – I feel like own-brand tins do the job just fine. I would be interested in trying this again with a different brand of tomatoes – just to see what if I notice a big difference. I’ve also seen recipes calling for fresh tomatoes but to be honest in Ireland we don’t typically get the most flavourful tomatoes.

I then let the sauce simmer and thicken for a while – it made the kitchen smell great. Before serving I removed the onion as I’m not a huge fan of massive onion chunks but I guess if you feel so inclined then you can just blend the onion into the sauce.

My verdict was….a little meh if I’m honest. I don’t think this recipe is going to change how I make tomato sauce, I felt like I could really taste the butter.To serve I threw in some cooked chicken that I had as well as some asparagus to help get my five a day. It was tasty but I didn’t fall in love with it.

I may give this another try or two with some adjustments and see if I can be converted. But honestly I prefer simmering a can of tomatoes with some garlic and seasoning.

Recipe one is done and we have moved into our new house! Hurray for new kitchens 🙂


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