Apparently this amazing sauce has been floating around the internet for over a decade and I didn't know it. It's a devilishly simple sauce (just three ingredients; four if you count the salt) and even though I was tempted to throw in garlic and herbs and crushed pepper flakes, for my first go, I showed restraint. There's something beautiful about really simple, rich recipes that allow single ingredients to shine (in this case, it's the tomato) but I'm not going to lie; I'm probably going to pollute this recipe with a little garlic and a little heat the next time I make it.
I wasn't sure what to expect because in all of the forums I read, no one described the taste in a descriptive enough manner; in general, the comments were all along the line of, "OMG SO DELICIOUS!" But, maybe this is a "people in glass houses" situation because it's possible I won't be able to describe it properly either. My best attempt is to say that the smell reminded me of cream of tomato soup and then when I went in for a taste, again, I thought hm, tomato soup. The butter adds this unctuous mouthfeel that makes the sauce incredibly velvety and "sticky." I say "sticky" because this sauce stuck to the noodles better than any other tomato sauce I have ever made. The onion added a crapload of natural sweetness that complemented the San Marzano tomatoes. In fact, it might have been a little too sweet for my taste and I think that this recipe is a great way to use up regular plum tomatoes; save the San Marzano tomatoes for regular sauces that need a boost.
Overall, this sauce was a smashing success. I slapped it together on a Thursday evening with about 2 minutes of prep work, 1 minute to smash the tomatoes in the pot, and then it sat on the hob, bubbling away and getting really good all on its own. In the meantime, I was able to prepare an appetizer, a vegetable dish, and cook the pasta. This recipe is a good one and I know it's going to get made over and over again this winter.
28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes (or regular plum tomatoes)
6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, peeled and halved
salt to taste (1 to 2 teaspoons)
roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, roasted sausage, and some tomato bruschetta.
Once the sauce is ready, give it a good stir. Add in the drained pasta and and toss to coat each and every noodle generously with velvety sauce.