My grandma is half Italian, half Irish. But, truthfully, she really only identifies with her Italian side. She’ll deny this, but we all know it’s true.
The upside of this allegiance? I grew up eating really, really, good Italian food. Stuffed shells, meatballs, spaghetti. The list goes on. And everything, of course, is covered in homemade sauce.
Ah, Grandma’s treasured homemade sauce. She spends hours making it. And there is no exact recipe. You add a little of this, a bit of that, a pinch of this and finally a dash of that. And when she offers you a frozen container, you take it. And hide it. Then savor it on some cold night or after a bad day.
So, you can imagine, I was reluctant (to say the least) when I heard about this sauce. Just three ingredients and one hour. Seriously, it can’t possibly be that good.
Surprise! It is that good.
So good in fact, we’ve made it at least three times in as many weeks. And I may have also made it in Vermont.
Needless to say, this is now a go-to dinner. Try it. Let me know what you think.
And don’t worry, Grandma’s still reigns. But it’s nice to have a back-up when your frozen container is empty.
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (best bet are San Marzano)
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion (any color will do), peeled and cut in half
salt to taste
In a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven (2.5 or 3 quart size will be perfect), combine the tomatoes, onion and butter over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow simmer for 45-60 minutes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat. Remove the onion*, add salt to taste (I’ve never needed to add salt, but depending on your tomatoes, you might need to). Pour over your prepared pasta or use how you wish.
*Save the onion! I like (okay, love) to make the following, delicious breakfast – toasted bread (or biscuit, even better), onion, sunny-side up egg and a little grate of cheese… oh, boy!
Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking