About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Squid and Artichoke Soup | Main | Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil and Chopped Vegetables »

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Well that was easy.

Marcella refers to this as the simplest of all sauces to make, with a sweet tomato taste. Agreed. Below are all the ingredients called for, including the rigatoni pasta option. The jar in the background is fleur de sel. I like using it whenever I can. I've even brought back some from our visits to Provence, until I discovered I can buy the exact same salt more economically at my local supermarket than at the Friday market in Lourmarin.


The recipe was so simple, that I thought it might be a bit bland, but I was wrong. It was very pleasant with a distinctive tomato flavour. I'm glad I used fresh, rather than canned tomatoes. I grow a lot of tomatoes in my large vegetable garden - pretty sure tomatoes straight from the garden would taste even better. Here's the end result:


There's not much more to comment on about this recipe. The whole dish takes about an hour from start to finish. Of course, I didn't choose this recipe. It was the luck of the draw to get such an easy dish to prepare.

But, would I make it again? .... Maybe (it's dead simple, quick and tasty), but I will try some adjustments to the ingredients. The recipe calls for 5 tablespoons of butter (the stick in front of the onion), which seems like a lot to be putting into any recipe these days. A little less sweetness and a little more tomato flavour would be OK with me.

Comments (7)

Easy is good, Doug! Your dish looks great!

Emily Hamblen:

I make this for my family frequently. I love how simple it is...I can get it simmering on the stove and have it ready for lunch. I could eat this sauce straight out of the pan. And I have. ;) Great pictures, Doug!

We love this sauce and make it often. We especially like it on home made ravioli stuffed with sheeps milk ricotta. We reserve the cooked onions and use them on sandwiches or as part of a composed salad.

Another wonderful thing about this recipe is that we usually have all of the ingredients on hand.

Looks good Doug!

Marcella Hazan:

The 5 tablespoons of butter are for a sauce that is meant to be used on pasta for 6 persons when served Italian-style. Do the math, it doesn't seem a lot to me. On the other hand, the tomatoes illustrated are very pretty, but if you are looking for tomato sweetness they are not quite as flavorful as good Roma tomatoes, in season now where I live, or the great San Marzano tomatoes imported from Italy in a can and available at any time.


Ah Marcella,

I've grown a "flat" of Roma tomatoes from seed & I've purchased some San Marzano tomato plants for my garden. I'm looking forward to trying them in your recipes.

However, I stand by my comments.


Marcella Hazan:

Doug, plants express the character of the soil. San Marzano is not just a tomato variety, but that variety grown on a specific volanic site. In Italy, only San Marzanos grown within a small, and strictly defined area may legally be sold as San Marzano d.o.p., denominazione d'origine protetta. I am an unwavering believer in "fresh", but when it comes to tomatoes, fresh is not invariably and for every use necessarily the better choice. Incidentally, the tomatoes in your photograph look half-raw. How long did you cook the sauce? There is a curve in the development of the taste of tomatoes which climbs to its apogee when they have cooked long enough, the length depending on the style of the sauce.



Interesting comments.


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