Super Simple Butter Tomato Sauce

tomato butter

Hey Everyone,

OK. So seasoned food bloggers, I apologise in advance for posting this one. I realise that for many of you this sauce is ‘sooo 2006‘ but for me, a noob on the food blogging scene, discovering this sauce the other day was kind of a big deal.

It all started for me here, over at Saveur, who posted ‘The Recipes that Rocked the Internet‘. I love these kinds of posts, a compilation of the best of the best neatly packaged in a slideshow presentation that comes complete with links to new pages I have yet to discover. The first recipe I came across was this one, heralded ‘The Most Famous Tomato Sauce on the Internet‘. How could I resist?

There are a few things that make this recipe so appealing, the first being the simplicity of it all. We’ve made tomato sauce here before but there are always a litany of ingredients and steps to follow; garlic, red wine, herbs, spices etc. None of that is necessary here, there are just 4 very simple ingredients: canned tomatoes, butter, salt and an onion.

I also really like the fact that you flavour the sauce with onion but remove it before serving as it means that Paul can eat it (he can’t usually eat onion for health reasons but removing it before serving didn’t seem to cause any problems).

So I made it and it was amazing (as promised). I even followed Smitten Kitchen’s example and ate the leftover onions on toast later on, bad breath be damned!

So why not give it a go yourselves? Buy the best Italian tomatoes you can find, pair it with the freshest pasta you can afford, resist the urge to drench it in parmesan and garlic (gasp!) and tell me it’s not the best tomato sauce you’ve ever tasted….

Super Simple Butter Tomato Sauce

as seen here, here & here.

Note: The butter is what makes this sauce amazing!

(Vegan friends: substitute with a good quality dairy-free butter like Nuttelex)

Serves: 2

1 can whole, peeled tomatoes – I used Cirio Tomatoes (go for the best quality Italian tomatoes you can find).

1 brown onion, skin removed and cut in half

70g of unsalted butter – see note

Salt to taste

2 serves pasta – I used fresh gnocchi.


In a heavy based saucepan add the tomatoes, onion halves and butter.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then turn the heat down to low.

Leave the sauce to simmer very slowly on a low heat for about 45 minutes. Stir the pot every now and then, gently crushing the tomatoes up against the side of the pot.

Remove the onion from the pot, add salt to taste and keep warm while you cook your pasta.

Serve sauce over cooked pasta. Resist the urge to add cheese.

So simple, so delicious!

Leave a comment. Tell me what you think.