keito potato

Simple Tomato Sauce
June 3, 2009, 7:50 pm
Filed under: recipes | Tags: , ,

This tomato sauce is easy enough for those who can’t cook, precisely because of its unusual method.

Most other tomato sauces begin with chopping onions and garlic, and sauteing them awhile before adding tomatoes, wine, red peppers, etc, etc, etc.  My simple method has absolutely no sauteing.  And the only chopping is one big slice to hack an onion in half.  If you can cut an onion in half, you can make this sauce.

You simply throw canned tomatoes into a saucepan with a hunk of butter and an onion cut into 2 halves.  You practically poach the onion in the tomatoes, while the butter slowly smooths everything out.  At the end, you remove the onion halves and throw them away, leaving a tomato sauce that has a gentle savory onion edge, but no actual onion.

Not only is this recipe the easiest, it’s actually the most delicious tomato sauce I’ve made.  The flavor is savory and delicate.  I’ve been making this tomato sauce for the last 2 years, and use it for everything from pasta and pizza, to casseroles like eggplant parmesan and polenta lasagna.

This recipe is also perfect for my friends who have food-texture issues about small bits of onion.  Everything here is smooth and clean.

Please don’t be tempted to substitute olive oil for the butter.  I tried that once, but the olive oil was just the wrong kind of fat for this sauce.  It actually made the sauce slimy and oily.  Stick to the butter on this one.  It keeps the sauce soft, luscious, and flavorful.

I prefer to use canned whole plum tomatoes.  I think they have a better quality than just diced tomatoes.  Plus, diced tomatoes remain rubbery with their geometric right angles even after cooking, which creeps me out a little.  I like that whole canned tomatoes get naturally soft when cooked.  Then right before serving, I just whir it a bit with an immersion blender to smooth it out.


28-ounce can tomatoes

5 tablespoons butter

1 onion

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

torn basil leaves (optional)

grated parmesan (optional)

tomato sauce 006.1


Empty the canned tomatoes into a saucepan.  Peel the onion and cut it in half.  Add the onion halves, butter and salt to the tomatoes.

Simmer 40 minutes.  Stir from time to time, keeping the onion wedges immersed so that they can effectively flavor the sauce.  Remove the onion pieces with chopsticks or tongs.  Throw the onion pieces away.

tomato sauce 007.1

Puree with a hand-held immersion blender.  Add the torn fresh basil leaves or parmesan if desired.

2 Comments so far
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I really enjoyed this sauce when you made it for us and have made it since. It’s great for kids because it has the flavor, but no bits of onion for them to complain about.

Comment by Jenny

[…] sauce ( I like to use mine, but feel free to use another fresh tomato sauce […]

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