Less is more, or so the saying goes, and this tomato sauce is a perfect example of that.  Three ingredients: tomatoes, onion, and butter.  Put in a pot, brought to a simmer, and occasionally stirred.  I honestly can’t think of a more low maintenance recipe than this, and certainly not one with such wonderful results.  I have read about this recipe on several of my favorite blogs but I was skeptical.  I finally got around to trying it myself and now I can say that I agree with all the hype.  Aside from the sheer ease and convenience of the recipe itself, the sauce smells incredible while it is simmering.  (I half-joked with Ben that I wanted to skip yoga that night so I could just stand with my face over the pot, inhaling all the yummy smells.  Om, indeed.)  And of course once you get past the quick prep and the drool-worthy cooking smells, there is the actual taste of the sauce when it is finished.  Somehow rich and light at the same time, the butter adds just the right something – a sort of smoothness that just makes it work.

I’ve tried many homemade sauce recipes.  Most have been good, some were forgettable, but this my friends – this is the one.  As much as I would love to make sauce from fresh tomatoes, they aren’t in season year-round, and now having found this recipe I am totally okay with that.  I know, you’re wary.  Can it really be that good?  Made from canned tomatoes?  No garlic, no basil?  Well, just give it a try.  I’m pretty sure you’ll love it.  And hey, if you don’t?  You’ve only wasted a couple minutes of your time and three ingredients.  Don’t be tempted to dress it up with additional spices or fancy ingredients.  The simplicity is what makes this work so well.

  • Yield 2-3 cups of sauce


1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
1 onion, peeled and halved
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
Salt, to taste


  • 01

    Combine the tomatoes, onion, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to keep the sauce at a low, steady simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.  Remove from the heat, discard the onion, and add salt to taste.  (I didn’t add any salt.)  Serve warm with pasta.