- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 35 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
This is the simplest of all sauces to make, and none has a purer, more irresistibly sweet tomato taste. I have known people to skip the pasta and eat the sauce directly out of the pot with a spoon.
Put either the prepared fresh tomatoes or the canned in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes, or until the fat floats free from the tomato. Stir from time to time, mashing any large piece of tomato in the pan with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.
Recommended pasta: This is an unsurpassed sauce for potato gnocchi, but it is also delicious with factory-made pasta in such shapes as spaghetti, penne, or rigatoni. Serve with grated Parmesan.May be frozen when done. Discard the onion before freezing.
Making Fresh Tomatoes Ready for Sauce: Unless the recipe indicates otherwise, fresh, ripe tomatoes must be prepared to use for sauce following one of the two methods given below. The blanching method can lead to a meatier, more rustic consistency. The food mill method produces a silkier, smoother sauce.
The Blanching Method: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them up in coarse pieces.
The Food Mill Method: Wash the tomatoes in cold water, cut them lengthwise in half, and put them in a covered saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Set a food mill fitted with the disk with the largest holes over a bowl. Transfer the tomatoes with any of their juices to the mill and puree.
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving and 1 lb of pasta, and does not include Parmesan Cheese for serving at the table.