What’s the big deal about the tomato sauce?

So, in the foodie blogosphere, the gossip goes that the most famous and best tomato sauce is one created by Marcella Hazan and outlined in her cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. The first time I was introduced to this recipe was on the weekend while in my bread class. Chef was very excited to share it with us and I did a little research afterwards. Appears many others were just as enamoured with this recipe. I had to try it. I had to see what the hype was about.

So the elements of this recipe are tomatoes, butter and an onion. Simple. The idea is that a good tomato sauce does not need to be bombarded with herbs and spices and garlic.

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It was recommended that the tomatoes be peeled so I blanched them first which helped to get them peeled quickly.

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Once peeled, the tomatoes went into a pot along with the butter and peeled onion which had been cut in half.

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And then I left it to simmer for 45 minutes, just until it began to turn a slightly orange hue and I could see the butter fat begin to separate a bit.

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At the end of the simmering time, the onion was discarded and what is left is tomato sauce.

Ok folks, perhaps I did something wrong. Perhaps my tomatoes sucked (San Marzano is the recommended type) or maybe my onion was crap, but I didn’t really like the sauce. It is a bit rich because of the butter. A bit runny, but maybe I could have strained it a bit? It tasted….ok. Yes, just ok. My taste buds weren’t jumping for joy when I took my first bite. I think they may have yawned.

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Has anyone made this sauce before? What’s the big deal? What am I missing?

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2 thoughts on “What’s the big deal about the tomato sauce?

  1. I’ve made this sauce before too. If you get a can of President’s Choice organic whole tomatoes, and crush them with your hands before adding them to the pot (strain off juice, crush over the pot 1 or 2 at a time for the least amount of mess), the recipe is actually quite nice. Better yet if you add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil instead of the butter. Then again, I found it okay, not the recipe I was hoping for…

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