Posted by: Kelsey Avers | February 28, 2010

Amazing Recipe #2: Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter (audio interview)

The only ingredients needed for this cheap, simple recipe

I’ve tried some good spaghetti sauces in my life (outside of the bottled stuff sold at grocery stores), but they always included more than five complex, sometimes expensive products. I’ve always just stuck to buying the cheaply made bottled stuff, as far from “home made” as it may taste. But yesterday I was shown a simple, extremely cheap, and not to mention very yummy spaghetti sauce recipe that took less than an hour to cook. It’s called “Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter,” and 21-year-old SFSU journalism major and [X]press Magazine Editor-in-Chief Amanda Elliot was kind enough to invite me into her home and show me how it’s done.

Elliot heard about the recipe through a friend, who found this post on As a vegetarian that is almost addicted to pasta dishes, this recipe was perfect for her.

The reviews raved on and on about the sauce, with quotes such as, “I think I could do this! I am so intrigued by the super short list of ingredients,” “I am going to make this for lunch. Right now. looks FANTASTIC,” and “DELICIOUS. Magical. Buttery, tangy, simple, drool-worthy.” Some reviewers were even considering keeping the recipe a secret and inviting their friends over for pasta.

So needless to say, it would have been pretty stupid of me not to try it!

Listen below to hear Amanda making the recipe, and me enjoying it. She also raves about Trader Joe’s and how beneficial this small store can be to anyone on a college student grocery-shopping budget. From their healthy selections to their raffle tickets (a chance to win a $25 grocery spree every time you bring in your own bag!), it seems there are endless possibilities here for all diets. See Jennie’s post at her WordPress blog, Spontaneous Truth, titled, “Why Trader Joe Should Be My Boyfriend,” and you’ll see even more why this place is so great.

So do you have a can of peeled tomatoes in your pantry that you really have no clue what to do with? Go buy an onion, grab some butter and you’re good to go.

Serving Size: Enough sauce to lightly coat almost a pound of spaghetti
Prep Time: About 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

– 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes from a can (these usually come with the juice, keep that in the recipe!)
– 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
– Salt to taste (doesn’t really need it!)

– Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (fits just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat.
– Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes.
Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
– Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste (this is purely preference; we used unsalted tomatoes and found we didn’t need salt at all) and keep warm while you prepare your pasta. (Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese.)


I know you couldn’t resist trying it out! How did you like it? Anything you would suggest for this recipe?



  1. Yum! That recipe sounds delish. Thanks for the link! 🙂

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