Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion

  • Author: Flavia Scalzitti


Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan


  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 2  28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. In a sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat until it’s no longer foaming.
  2. Add in the onion halves and stir them around in the butter until they take on a light golden color and the butter starts to brown lightly.
  3. Add in the tomatoes and the salt and stir to combine. Note: Do not be concerned if you see some of the butter separating and floating on top of the sauce. It will eventually blend into the sauce as you keep stirring.
  4. Cover the pot partially and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  5. Cook the sauce for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Towards the end of cooking, taste the sauce for salt and adjust if necessary.
  7. Remove the onion pieces before using the sauce.


  • Storage: Cool the sauce to room temperature before transferring to freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.