Genius Easiest Tomato Sauce a.k.a the only Tomato Sauce My Kids Like

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Sometimes I hate ads. Especially those ones where it’s dinner time and there is a mother whose hair and makeup is casually but magically perfect at dinner time. She reaches for a jar of tomato sauce as her kids enthusiastically look on. Cue the close up of assorted fresh veggies being chopped and gleefully tossed into the pasta pot. The kids sneak a bite and radiate joy.

Here is what happens if I crack open a jar of tomato sauce, and I am talking the good kind. The older one will wail, the younger one will automatically wail too. I will offer to doctor it to their liking. There will be sulking, some tears. The will reluctantly eat one helping after what feels like a 1,238 reminders. Dinner will end with me feeling like I survived a battle. 

There is nothing about that scenario that makes me want to voluntarily take it on. I will save my fighting spirit for asparagus and spicy food thank you very much. 

Fortunately thanks to my accidental discovery of Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce in a magazine years ago I no longer have to. It is the Easiest Tomato Sauce recipe and my big girl has been making it for two years. Before you have visions of her nearly chopping digits off, exhale. I describe this as the easiest tomato sauce because it is more of an assemble and cook recipe. One chop is required and I do it. Her fingers are entirely safe from harm.

Easiest Tomato Sauce


I will freely admit that it is the butter in this recipe that makes it wonderfully delicious. I will also freely admit that I have zero problems with my kids consuming butter. While I am at it I will also freely admit that I am desi and my taste buds are slightly broken so we have tweaked this recipe a little to up the flavor ante. If you want to make the original version of this Easiest Tomato Sauce recipe you can find it right here

5 from 5 votes
Easiest Tomato Sauce
  • 28 oz Canned San Marzano Tomatoes (peeled)
  • 1 medium white onion, halved
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Handful of Fresh Basil leaves w stalks
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parmesan for Serving
  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil, simmer for 40 minutes

  2. Extricate the onion halves and basil, puree for a smooth sauce or roughly mash for a chunky one.

  3. Adjust seasoning. Makes enough for 1lb of pasta. 

Recipe Notes
  • The quality of ingredients is key - I greatly prefer San Marzano tomatoes for their robust flavor but you can substitute for the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes 

Easiest Tomato Sauce

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  • Reply

    Repeat after me..
    In fact, more than anything else its the pasta that does most harm (to you and me, of course – the kids will burn off all evils including carbs!)

    Sorry-had to say that! 😀

    This looks easy – I have sadly resorted to jarred passata for all tomato-based sauces but after reading this I will give it another go with San Marzanos 😊

    • Reply

      darn those kids and they’re awesome metabolisms! lol
      this sauce is such little work that it’s totally worth the effort 😉

  • Reply
    Emily Rampton

    Love this simple tomato sauce! Now I need to see if my little eaters would like it too! I think they just might!

  • Reply
    Sprinkles and Sprouts

    I love Marcella Hazan!!!! Her trick with meatballs changed my meatball making forever!

    The butter in this sauce must make it so smooth and rich!

  • Reply
    Adriana Martin

    Well using San Marzano tomatoes is the key. Those are perfect and mellow for a classic tomato sauce. That pasta dish looks delish!

  • Reply
    helene dsouza

    That sounds and looks like a great tomato sauce. I see why your kids adore this tomato sauce. 🙂

  • Reply
    Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas

    I make a lot of tomato sauce, but never thought to add butter to the sauce. This is a genius idea!

  • Reply

    This recipe looks yum! Using San Marzano tomatoes is always a win!

  • Penny for your thoughts?