Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marcella Hazan's Sauce with Onions and Butter

This recipe had me very curious.  In fact, I bought Marcella Hazan's Cookbook based on the reviews for this recipe that I read on numerous blogs.  However, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to jump on the bandwagon.  Now don't get me wrong, her cookbook has some wonderful recipes that I can't wait to try but this one falls pretty flat.  I know a recipe is a bust when Steve tells me he's okay with me never making it again.  Let me explain why this recipe had me so curious in the first place.  We all have our own versions of tomato sauce but I have never heard of a sauce without garlic. My parents just spent some time in Italy and said that they didn't seem to cook with much garlic. I figured maybe she was onto something.  Then there's the butter...5 tablespoons of it.  When I told my father he made me laugh.  He said "If Nanny ever saw you do that she'd never eat another thing you made.  She's say she doesn't trust you."  That's so true.  She really hated butter.  Never cooked with it.  She claimed she was allergic but we all know she just didn't like it.  Well, the sauce smelled delicious.  The butter mixed with the tomatoes reminded me of the aroma of vodka sauce when I make it.  As great as that is it's not enough to win over my stomach.  My stomach was very unhappy all night and to be honest, it was very flat and tasteless as well.  Maybe if the recipe was cooked with a tablespoon or 2 of butter and still had the addition of a clove or two of garlic and some basil then maybe we would like it much better.  What do you think?  Have you made this recipe?  What are your thoughts?

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

For 6 servings

2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
5 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table


Put the tomatoes 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 into 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.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


Patti T. said...

I don't understand some Italian cooking, I have Italian friends and they don't seem to use much seasoning of any kind in their sauces. I was quite surprised the first time I ate their sauces. I was wondering if different parts of Italy cook in different ways?? When I lived in Germany the different regions made sauces in way different ways. What do you think?

Claudia said...

This has always been pure comfort to me - simple, basic, wholesome and filling. It's always fun to try something new - I love my garlic also! But once in a while - it's fun to stray. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!

BMK said...

I had the same experience when I made this recipe. I thought it was very bland. The only thing I can think of is that I should have used San Marzano tomatoes. I think with so few ingredients the tomatoes really have to be the star.

bdank said...

I don't understand all the hype. I added 2 cloves of garlic to this recipe and it was still too bland for us. (I used San Marzano tomatoes)

Ginger Passarelli said...

I tried this recipe and it was fabulous! After reading a few reviews, if you don't use the San Marzano tomatoes don't bother making this. The San Marzano's are the absolute best. I also add bay leaf fresh or dried are great. Fresh parmesan cheese and it's wonderful with some angel hair. I love my sauce with garlic too, but this is a great alternative.