Tomato Sauce for Pasta

If you’ve been searching for a simple tomato sauce for pasta, then try Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce recipe, we think you’ll like it.

The Italian way of serving pasta is to add the cooked pasta to the sauce and stir so that all the pasta gets coated, not putting a mound of sauce on top of the pasta, like you often see. Feel free to vary the recipe by adding in some chopped garlic, herbs or even chillies. Serve with a green salad, a loaf of garlic bread and a nice bottle of wine for the grown-ups for an easy pasta supper.

Marcella-Hazans-tomatosauceRecipe adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Makes enough sauce for 450 g pasta, or 4 servings


  • 2 x 400 g tins whole plum tomatoes, with their juices
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • salt, to taste


Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter, and the onion halves in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch or two of salt. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, mashing up the tomatoes gently with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook, uncovered, at a very slow but steady simmer, adjusting the heat as necessary, for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free from the tomato and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir occasionally, continuing to mash any large pieces of tomato with the wooden spoon. Taste and salt as needed. Discard the onion before serving.

Did you try this tomato sauce for pasta recipe? Let us know in the comments below.
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This website was created by Jill Holtz and Michelle Davitt, both of whom are mothers of young children. Jill and Michelle decided to create this resource themselves, and launched in 2007.