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Marcella Hazan Tomato Sauce

This Marcella Hazan tomato sauce is a classic. Try it and you will see how just 5 ingredients make the perfect tomato sauce!
marcella hazan tomato sauce

The truth is that I hated tomatoes as a kid. My mother always kept them on the window sill in the summer and even had a few tomato plants.

They  smelled so good but I just never wanted to taste a mushy ripe tomato.

However I loved ketchup. I ate it on everything. I ate it on steak and chicken and turkey.

I think my mother always wondered what I’d look like as an adult with ketchup on my plate.

Though I still like ketchup, now I’ve grown to like tomatoes.

And that leads me to this very basic of Italian sauces. Another Marcella wonder.

Rich and full of tomato goodness, this is a really simple sauce that should be in every cook’s repertoire. You will be amazed at the results and overwhelmed by the taste.

I made it the other night when I had my CASA kids over to make dinner.

We had that ubiquitous kid’s meal of spaghetti and meatballs, though my meatballs were made with chicken. (Quite tasty I might add.)

A Caesar salad was added to the mix, garlic bread and poundcake and strawberries.

It will suffice to say my CASA kids were quite content and very proud of themselves. I have to admit it tasted mighty good to me, too. But the leftovers were even better.

Try this sauce. Notice how it is completely unadulterated with herbs or garlic. This is a tomato sauce at its best.

In the case of the spaghetti and meatballs I made sure that my meatballs were full of flavor, but I left the sauce alone except for a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper and a smattering of fresh basil.

The sauce becomes sweet with the concentrated richness of tomato. And yes we did sprinkle on fresh parmesan reggiano. Yum…  Yum, yum, yum.

marcella hazan tomato sauce
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Marcella Hazan tomato sauce

Tomato Sauce

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  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Italian


This classic tomato sauce recipe from Marcella Hazan is a classic. It is amazing how jut a few simple ingredients make such an incredible sauce.


Units Scale

2 c tomatoes and their juice

1/4 lb butter

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved

1 peeled carrot


1 / 4 t granulated sugar


Puree tomatoes with a handheld blender while in pot.

Add butter, onion, carrot, 1 1/2t salt and sugar.

Cook at a slow but steady simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion and carrot. Eat or slurp with a spoon.


I used San Marzano or Pomi tomatoes.



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Monday 23rd of April 2012

You are right. It is strictly a matter of taste. If only we owned a San Marzano farm, eh? Thanks for reading.

Kitchen Riffs

Monday 23rd of April 2012

Good recipe. With the carrot, I find I don't need the sugar (carrots have a lot of sweetness). And I agree with you on tomatoes - good tomatoes make all the difference. Worth trying several different kinds and finding what works for what. Good tomatoes are worth the $$$.


Friday 20th of April 2012

Thanks, Meirav. Glad you like it and good to hear from you.


Friday 20th of April 2012

Abbe, this sauce is very good and the easiest to prepare. thanks :-)