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tomato sauce in pot on the stove

Simple Tomato Sauce

This is perhaps the most famous recipe published by Italian-born cookbook author Marcella Hazan. Much like Julia Child’s passion for making French cuisine more accessible for the American home cook, Hazan wrote beautiful and welcoming cookbooks that invited Americans to try their hand at Italian cookery.


This recipe is so simple it’s hardly a “recipe” but more of a testament to how simply cooked quality ingredients can yield the most beautiful flavors. I suggest using canned crushed tomatoes and don’t be scared off by the butter. It gives the sauce an unparalleled velvety richness.

45 mins

SERVES 3-4

INGREDIENTS

2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

5 tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion, peeled and cut in half

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Combine everything in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt.

Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and discard onion before serving.

COOKING TOGETHER

KIDS CAN:

  • Learn how to use a can opener! They love doing this.
  • Put everything in the pot to simmer
  • Taste for seasoning. Does it need more salt?

GROWN-UPS CAN:

  • Cut the onion and watch the simmering pot
  • Introduce kids to a cookbook author. Do you have a favorite cookbook? Pull it off the shelf or look up some recipes on the internet and show your family your favorite recipes.
A photo of Cheryl.

Cheryl Knecht Muñoz

Cheryl is the Founder and Owner of Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, a cooking school for kids and their families in River Forest, IL. As a chef, instructor, and working mom, she is passionate about growing, cooking, and sharing good food together.

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