Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

There are three things that would make my life perfect: If I could cook all day, eat all day (with out expense to my waist) and if I had a dish fairy. Yesterday, I had one and a half out of three.

While, everyone else in Big Sky indulged in yet another powder day I chose to indulge in pasta. It was purely an accident, really. I had every intention of enjoying the fresh and still falling snow, that was, until I caught sight of this tomato sauce and pasta picture in my Google reader. It should be illegal to post extremely simple recipes with overly enticing pictures that make the snow outside look much less inviting and curling up on the couch that much more appealing, especially with a steaming bowl of spaghetti and red sauce.

Of course, it was that got me. Damn those pictures of tomato sauce with onion and butter; they kicked my carbohydrate craving into overdrive. I don’t even know what time it was, way before lunch, but I found myself migrating to the kitchen in search of canned tomatoes and onions.

Now let me tell you a little something about my kitchen, it likes to talk to me. As you may recall I live in a newly built house and nowadays they’ve created all sorts of intelligent electronic devices meant to simplify the lives of those less intelligent, humans. This house is no exception. Everything and I mean everything beeps at you. My aunt and I are constantly in one room or another when we hear a beep and have to drop whatever we’re doing and hunt down some new signal from some unhappy appliance or other. Of course, these smart electronics know that you’ll ignore their first warning and must beep their urgent plea at you tirelessly. An appliance will truly be smart when it cleverly detects human annoyance and knows to politely be quiet.

When I’d finished my pasta, the stovetop continued to repeatedly berate me with beeped expletive after expletive. I stared sheepishly down at the flat black electric contraption, what on earth was I doing wrong? After trial and error I finally discovered that stoves have feelings too. Such sophisticated devices don’t appreciate being treated like a storage place. I had left the empty pasta pot on the center console as I wandered off to slurp up bubbly sauce and spaghetti. I’ve very sorry stove, I will try to be more observant of your feelings in future.

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this dish and the way it allowed the butter and tomato flavors to shine through. Deb at is correct that the quality of the canned tomatoes is extremely important; I just used what was on hand. In future I’d be sure to use the best canned tomatoes and I’d probably use a little less butter. Also, it was extremely difficult for me to resist the urge to throw some garlic in my pot. I love garlic. But, I wanted to try something different and while good with out garlic, I imagine it would be even better with it. Obviously, I enjoyed this recipe though, since I had it for breakfast today.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Adapted from none other than

28 ounces canned whole peeled tomatoes, the higher the quality the better (I actually used 1 14.5 ounce can of whole and 1 14.5 ounce can of diced because that’s what I had in my cupboard)

1 yellow onion peeled and halved

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (I think you can get away with just 4 tablespoons)

Sea salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium stockpot combine all ingredients over a medium heat. Add sea salt and fresh cracker pepper to taste, be careful with the salt though because most canned tomatoes are pre-salted.  Bring pot to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low and allow to simmer gently for an hour. Stir occasionally breaking down whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon against the side of the pan. When the sauce is reduced and the tomatoes are thoroughly broken down, voilà your sauce is done. Discard onion and enjoy with some freshly made pasta and grated parmesan.

Optional: To get a really creamy even consistency and to use up that onion, and we all love onion, throw the finished sauce in a blender and food processor and you will have an equally delicious but slightly less rustic looking sauce.


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