Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tomato Sauce with Onion and "Butter"

Tomato Sauce with Onion and "Butter" over Pasta

I came across a delightful little recipe for a super simple tomato sauce that made its way around the internet some time ago: Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter by Marcella Hazan. I was intrigued that it only has 3 main ingredients (tomatoes, onion and butter) and received rave reviews from everyone. So of course I had to make a vegan version.

You'll find the original recipe in the link above. Basically you take 1 large 28 oz tin of good tomatoes (don't settle for crappy cheap tomatoes*) smooshed up with the juice along with about 5 tbsp of your favourite vegan margarine (Earth Balance) and an onion** cut in half and throw that in a sauce pan. You can use unsalted vegan margarine and then salt to taste but I found that the salted margarine wasn't too salty for this. Anyway, bring the mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 45 mins, stirring occasionally. Then you take out the onion and serve over pasta.

Sounds too simple to be that good right? Wrong. It's incredible. Really! The combination of margarine, slowly cooked onion and tomatoes works so well that I wanted to just eat the sauce as is. I did deviate from the original in that I did throw in some roughly minced garlic. I also cut the onion into 8 wedges and left that in the final sauce. Next time I'll try it like the original — no garlic and take out the onion.

I served the sauce over thick homemade wheat pasta with basil since I was out of packaged pasta (and no semolina flour). Just 2 cups white flour with 1/4 cup soy flour, salt, basil, olive oil and about 3/4 cup boiling water. Mix and knead until smooth, cover and let sit for 30 mins. Then simply roll out, cut and let dry for a few minutes and then cook in boiling salted water until done. It's super easy and yummy, but it is a bit time consuming. Sometimes it's worth it though and the homemade pasta was awesome with this sauce.

And there you have it. A 3 ingredient sauce that folks all over rave about. I think that this sauce is going to become my go-to sauce around here since I always have those ingredients on hand. Now, this is NOT a low-fat sauce by any means but it's really good, and for me, worth the calories and fat. Give it a try!

* If all you have are cheaper mediocre canned tomatoes, you might want to add a sprinkle of sugar to the sauce when simmering.

** I was reading that quite a few chefs swear by not sauteeing onion or garlic in tomato sauces and letting it cook in the sauce itself for the best flavour. I think they're on to something because this tasted way better than any tomato sauce I've made with sauteed onions and garlic.


Amanda Rock said...

That looks so good. I'm trying that tonight. :)

ms. veganorama said...

It was so good and so easy! Let me know what you think after you make it.

radioactivegan said...

That looks so much better than most jarred sauces I've had :) Thanks for the easy and delicious sauce.

ms. veganorama said...

Thanks! It really was that good!

shado said...

That looks amazing!

Does adding soy flour make a difference to the dough? I've never made fresh pasta from scratch. Do you think a mix of white and whole wheat flour would work? I'm always trying to add more whole grains into my diet.


ms. veganorama said...

I added in the soy flour for extra protein. I've seen it added before in recipes so I threw it in.

Yeah you could probably make noodles with 1/2 whole wheat but it would probably be a bit dense. Maybe 1/2 white and 1/2 white whole wheat?

If I am making homemade noodles for soup, I just do the white flour. It's actually my go-to dough recipe for tortillas and scallion pancakes too.

M. said...

Very interesting, I've never heard of such a cooking technique. I have to try it. Also have to admit that I would definitely add garlic and perhaps some other spices. :->

ms. veganorama said...

Hi M.

The thing is that it's worth it to try it as is with just tomato, onion, margarine, touch of salt. There's a really nice delicate balance between all these ingredients that does change and get muted with the addition of garlic and other spices.

So it's definitely worth it to try it as is at least once.

Zoa said...

I just love this sauce! You're right, it's magically delicious. This is my first visit to your blog I think, but I'll be back often--it's lovely!

ms. veganorama said...

Isn't it just great! I love your blog too. :)

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