The Best Pasta Sauce Has Three Ingredients

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I am bad and lazy at cooking, so I sometimes end up making a dinner of, like, avocado slices thrown on toast with some cheese on top. This makes me feel like a 20-year-old stoner. So I love simple recipes that still taste like grown-up food. Like this pasta sauce recipe by Marcella Hazan. You need three ingredients, and you're going to throw one out.

This recipe has bounced around cooking sites for over a decade, and Smitten Kitchen tells it best, but here's the gist:

  • Empty a can of San Marzano tomatoes into a saucepan.
  • Skin an onion and chop it in half. Toss it in.
  • Add five tablespoons of butter (a little more than half a stick).
  • Sautée for 45 minutes while you watch some Hulu. Every now and then, stir and smush all the tomatoes.
  • Meanwhile boil some water, cook some pasta, drain the pasta. Try a non-default spaghetti, like a long fusilli.
  • Pull out the onion.
  • Throw the pasta into the saucepan with the sauce. Stir.

You can throw in some salt, you can grate some parmesan, but you don't need any herbs, and you don't need to chop anything. Tada, non-depressing dinner. Takes time but not effort.


    What no garlic at least? This "pasta sauce" sounds really bland.

    1 tin crushed tomatoes
    teaspoon of crushed garlic (or one clove if you have fresh)
    1 diced zuchinni
    Optional fresh herbs like basil if it is around

    Bang it all in a saucepan and cook for as long as your pasta takes to cook

    sauce is full of butter. of course it tastes good hahahaha

    I absolutely guarantee there's a better pasta sauce that has a fourth ingredient, because this sounds like it'd be miles better with some garlic or some fresh basil.

    Secret ingredient that always makes it taste better - vegemite.

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