simple pasta sauce with tomato, butter, and onion
Equipment: Large pot and colander for cooking pasta; medium saucepan for making sauce.
  • 28 oz can good-quality diced tomatoes (I like San Marzano or Muir Glen)
  • ¼ tsp. sugar (this alleviates the acidity of the canned tomatoes)
  • 6 T. butter (I used salted butter, then didn't need to add more salt)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, root and stem removed, and cut in half
  • Salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. any shape pasta (as you can see, I used penne)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese, for serving
  1. Make the pasta sauce: Place the tomatoes (including their juice), butter, and onion halves in a medium saucepan. Over medium high-heat, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a steady but slow simmer. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened and the butter floats to the surface (which you'll stir back in). Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Remove the onion halves before serving (you can totally eat them, but they're not needed for the dish).
  2. Cook your pasta: Once the sauce has been going for about 20 or so minutes, fill a large pot with water and add 1-2 T. salt. Bring to a boil. When it boils, add your pasta and cook according to the package directions, then drain. If you start your water once the sauce is about 20 minutes in, assuming your pasta takes about 10 minutes to cook or so, you should end up with the sauce and the pasta finishing around the same time.
  3. Finish your dish: Once your pasta and sauce are both done, add both back into the pasta pot. Over high heat, "marry" the pasta and sauce together by tossing together for a minute or two. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago. Enjoy!
Recipe by radish*rose at