Easy and Fresh Tomato Pasta Sauce 番茄意面酱

Photo 10-2-17, 7 12 12 PMOnce you’ve cooked it at home, your family will not want to have bottled tomato sauce from supermarket any more. The flavor of the sauce is so delicate and fresh. Only four humble ingredients are involved and are probably already available in your pantry.

For a hearty dinner, you may add into the sauce any of pre-cooked vegetables (asparagus, peas, green beans etc.), seafood or small chunks of sausage. A standard Italian rule of thumb is 80-100 grams dried pasta per person. Also you can make larger quantities of the sauce and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Serves 4-6, (makes enough sauce for 400 grams of dried pasta.)

Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

  • I can                     canned plum tomatoes (net weight 400grams)
  • 70grams             unsalted butter
  • 1                             large yellow onion (about 200g), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon    kosher salt 粗海盐
  • 20g                   Grated parmesan cheese or packaged shredded Italian cheese (optional)
  • 1-2 g                 dried mixed Italian herbs (optional)


  1. Combine the tomatoes, their juices, the butter, the sliced onions and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a saucepan.photo-12-2-17-5-53-36-pm
  2. Place the saucepan over medium heat for a few minutes to bring to a simmer. Turn to low heat and cook for about 40 minutes. Leave the pan UNCOVERED. Stir with a wooden spatula occasionally to keep the sauce from stick to the bottom of the pan, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the spatula. Taste the sauce. Add salt as needed.
  3. Cook your pasta al dente (which means pasta is cooked to be firm to the bite. Some pasta boxes have directions for al dente). Scoop a spoon of pasta water into the sauce pan and mix it well to dilute the tomato sauce. photo-12-2-17-5-54-56-pm
  4. Add the pasta into the sauce pan. Mix well. You may add any of pre-cooked vegetables (asparagus, peas, green beans etc.), seafood or small chunks of sausage.
  5. Enjoy. photo-10-2-17-7-12-12-pm

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