Pasta sauce is a classic recipe that almost everyone knows a variation of. While it is typically made of tomatoes, seasoning, and vegetables, there are a million and one variations within that simple recipe. Some people add a variety of spices, others some unique vegetables. But one Italian cookery writer uses just three ingredients total for her famous pasta sauce and now you can make it too!
Italian chef and writer Marcella Hazan wrote one of the most famous books on Italian cooking, “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.” Most people would think that her recipe for pasta sauce would be incredibly complex and impossible to replicate.
But what’s really beautiful about true Italian cooking is not complex or difficult. It lies in the simplicity behind high-quality ingredients and time-tested techniques. Hazan revealed the secrets behind her simple sauce to Delish and you won’t believe how easy it is to make.
Next time you want to make something simple on a weeknight, keep this easy recipe in mind. All you need are three ingredients, each of which can be found at basically any grocery or convenience store. All you need to make this delicious sauce is an onion, butter and some canned tomatoes.
Some people like a chunkier sauce, but this simple version has an amazing flavor. Hazan stuck by her decision to not add any salt, pepper or spices because the simplicity is what makes the sauce so delicious. Without the cover of spices and salt, that bright, acidic tomato flavor can stand out.
Marcella was born in the heart of Italy, but she immigrated to America with her family and lived the majority of her life in New York City. She is an Italian grandmother through and through and you can taste the love when you make her recipes!
She passed away back in 2013 at the ripe old age of 89, but not before sharing her culinary secrets with the world. Her husband Victor is still passing on her recipes whenever he can, and he shared his thoughts on his late wife in a recent interview.
“Marcella was a genius when it came to taste. She had an immediate understanding about how flavor affects a dish. She asked herself, ‘Why chop an onion? Why saute? I’m going to put the onion, tomato, and butter together and forget about it,'” he said.
To make her famous sauce, you’ll need 2 cans of whole, peeled tomatoes, one peeled and halved onion and 6 tablespoons of butter. There is no voodoo magic here, just pure and simple ingredients.
Once you have all the ingredients prepared, simply add them to your favorite pot. Let the sauce simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes at medium heat. You’ll want to stir occasionally to ensure that the sauce doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.
If you like recipes like this, look up Marcella’s other cooking books as well. Along with the traditional Italian recipes, she includes other fun things like advice on how to eat like a true Italian and memories of her own childhood in Italy.
Try out this recipe soon and let us know what you think!