19 January 2011

Marinara with butter and onion

did I tell you that I love butter? well, I do. (see here) so when i came across this recipe on the smitten kitchen, i was in awe. although wisdom tells you that a good marinara sauce comes from hours of simmering vine ripened tomatoes in delicious spices and mouth watering aromatics, this recipe sort of defies that wisdom. it's three ingredients...that's it. while the quality of the tomatoes does add value to this sauce, it's also ok to substitute with the can of tomatoes you've got on hand. if that's san marzano tomatoes, it's going to be delicious, if it's just a can of hunts, it will still be fantastic (i don't recommend a store brand of tomatoes for this recipe, however). for me, it's the go to recipe when i'm swamped and cannot find time to spend in the kitchen. let me tell you something about myself. i'm a people pleaser. so i have a hard time saying no. "can you help coach knowledge bowl?" yes. "would you be willing to be the room mother?" yes. "will you substitute for me?" yes. "will you bring...to our dinner/party/event?" yes. so my life has become hectic. and in all that hecticity (i just made up that word, do you like it?) it's sometimes hard to find a meal to be proud to serve. this is that recipe, i promise. double stamp guarantee. it's deep and flavorful, rich and hearty. it's literally cooking on my stove as we speak and i can't wait to dig in. here is the original recipe, for reference.

Tomato sauce with butter and onion

*1 29 ounce can of whole tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of whole tomatoes, undrained
6 tbsp butter
1 medium to large onion

slice onion into quarters, remove peel. add tomatoes and butter to saucepan. melt butter. add onion and cover with tomatoes. bring up to a simmer and allow to cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour uncovered or until the onion is translucent and soft. remove onion and discard. blend remaining sauce with immersion blender, or stand blender with lid removed for heat to escape (be careful, it splatters!)
alt. directions - add all ingredients to crockpot. cover and let cook on low for 2 -3 hours or on high for 1 - 2 hours. basically, let it cook until you're ready to eat it! sauce should be thick like a typical marinara. if it's too thin, add to saucepan and simmer until thickened to desired consistency.

*the best san marzano tomatoes, in my opinion, are found at whole foods. they're in a very plain red and white can that just says "san marzano". if those are not available, use the best quality tomatoes you can find.

post edit: this sauce is supposed to be thick. it's not soupy...nothing like soup, in fact. i actually make enough to use for pizza later. it's my favorite pizza sauce! if you find that your sauce turns out thin and soupy, make sure, most importantly, that you've cooked the sauce UNCOVERED for at least 45 minutes. i find that the store brand tomatoes create a thinner sauce than some of the more well known brands. if you're still having problems, email us and let us know and we'll be sure to help you out! we want you to love this recipe as much as we do!


  1. When you do it in the crock pot, do you still take the onion out, or do you just chop it up and leave it in there?

  2. i took most of the onion out. i just emulsified the little that was left right in the sauce before i served it.

  3. Amazing. I just licked my bowl clean.