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So Simple, Yet So Good

February 18, 2010

After receiving Smitten Kitchen’s Tomato Sauce recipe from Shelly as well as from one of CD’s good friends (Hey Travis!), I knew I had to make it. Y’all, this is seriously one of the best marinara sauces I’ve had in a long time, and it is so unbelievably simple.

First you need a 28 ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes. I bought salted and then did not any salt to the sauce.


Pour entire can of tomatoes into 1 large pot along with a yellow onion, peeled and halved, and 5 TBSP (70 grams) of unsalted butter. We prefer the Kerrygold brand since it’s made from grass fed cows, not to mention the fact that it tastes amazing. Trader Joe’s is the cheapest place I can find it.

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Bring your sauce to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to low, allowing everything to simmer. Stir occasionally, mashing down the tomatoes with a wooden spoon.


After 45 minutes, remove the onion and serve the sauce over your pasta of choice. We ate ours over raw spiralized zucchini squash, cooked spaghetti squash, and steamed Brussels sprouts.


To all my friends out there who fear the butter, I know this seems like a lot, but if you divide the recipe into 4 servings, that’s not a whole lot of butter per person. Of course, after dinner, CD finished off the remaining 2 servings with a spoon. Hehe, it’s that good, and our kitchen smelled amazing for hours afterwards. Maybe if I make this sauce while cooking broccoli, it will cancel out the stank? ๐Ÿ˜‰

OK, so go buy some canned tomatoes, Kerrygold butter, and an onion. Make this tonight, and then email me telling me how much you love me. I expect a full inbox tomorrow!

68 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2010 9:43 am

    this sounds great, i’m always looking for good tomato recipes! i’m glad you used butter…i’ve never even thought to use that, just olive oil! definitely need to try that next time… ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Madeline - Greens and Jeans permalink
    February 18, 2010 10:00 am

    I have never had Kerrygold’s butter but I am a HUGE fan of their cheese!

  3. February 18, 2010 10:01 am

    OMG I want this exact thing on my dinner plate tonight. Drool-worthy as ever.

  4. February 18, 2010 10:40 am

    I’m so glad you liked it! The good kitchen smell is definitely a huge plus! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really like the texture of this sauce as well- the butter makes it so silky!!

  5. February 18, 2010 10:51 am

    those brussell sprouts look DELISH!

  6. February 18, 2010 11:09 am

    the meal looks oh so good!

  7. February 18, 2010 11:48 am

    Don’t you love how sometimes the simplest recipes are the best!

  8. February 18, 2010 11:58 am

    I put marinara sauce over top my broccoli immediately after cooking.

    SO hasn’t complained about stinky broccoli since!

    It’s delicious.

  9. February 18, 2010 12:11 pm

    That looks heavenly- I’ve never thought of using zuchinni as noodles- good call!

  10. Carolyn permalink
    February 18, 2010 12:13 pm

    Can i have half credit if i use a jar of Barilla Marinera sauce? I already have that and will just add the Kerrygold buttah to it!! And have a spag squash already!

    My finger is injured, doctors excuse ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. February 18, 2010 12:19 pm

    Ok, this recipe is TOTALLY up my alley. I want that dinner! Well, I have my menu plan for the week, but you know me and copying your recipe ideas…I’ll probably try it 3 months from now and then come back to this post and comment about how I should have tried it earlier. Just wait, you’ll see ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. JillyB permalink
    February 18, 2010 12:26 pm

    I already do love you, but I want to try this over the weekend! Looks awesome.

  13. February 18, 2010 12:29 pm

    This sauce has been on my list all week. I’ve been planning on making it this weekend. I can’t wait make it! She has so many amazing recipes on her site!
    And yeah, I think the sauce smell cancels out the broccoli smell any day!

  14. February 18, 2010 1:00 pm

    I’ve never made my own sauce – but I am a SUCKER for sauce …seriously I put it over and on anything…it’s sick….

    Do you like to plan your meals ahead of time HEAB or just “go with the flow” and decide at that meal time?

  15. February 18, 2010 1:06 pm

    Eatmovelove, I rarely plan out our dinners. Because we eat a lot of the same foods, I usually just go with the flow. However, last night’s dinner required a trip to Trader Joe’s, and so I had to plan ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. February 18, 2010 1:45 pm

    hi heather! i’m a long-time lurker, first-time commenter. love your blog and that you like a healthy dose of animal fat! i think my genetic make-up must be similar to yours because i need a lot of fat in my life to stay slim and satisfied as well. anyway, i have seen that tomato sauce recipe also and now i must try it if you are raving about it. i am just wondering… how is it that CD can’t stand the smell of broccoli but brussel sprouts are okay? hahaha. i think brussel sprouts smell way worse! keep up the great work on this blog!

  17. February 18, 2010 1:48 pm

    I love Kerrygold!! I work in the bread department and we featured it a while ago. I usually don’t even like plain butter on my bread but this was fantastic!

  18. February 18, 2010 1:56 pm

    deb from smitten kitchen is a genius. nuff’ said. i made these carrot cupcakes of hers. OMG. they were life changing.

  19. eaternotarunner permalink
    February 18, 2010 2:05 pm

    I have had this recipe bookmarked for months, I have to get on it!

  20. February 18, 2010 2:08 pm

    YUP, thats dinner. I have a spaghetti squash already, and might throw some broccoli in there too… or i could totally copy you and have sprouts too… did you see my sausage-stuffed kabocha yesterday?! I was totally channeling you…

  21. February 18, 2010 2:11 pm

    I love that you’re not afraid of butter. I mentioned in my post this morning that I have about 10 cans of tomatoes in my pantry (and I certainly have butter), so I’m thinking this may be a dinner component sometime soon. I actually love tomato sauce omelets; just a two egg omelet with a ton of tomato sauce poured on top ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. February 18, 2010 2:12 pm

    The sauce sounds awesome and looks great with the spiralized squash. I think cooking the sauce for a long time with the onion really brings out good flavors.

  23. February 18, 2010 2:13 pm

    Brunette, An omelet covered in tomato sauce, eh? I like it!

  24. February 18, 2010 2:17 pm

    oh my . . . I am always in search of a really good and really simple sauce recipe . . . THANK YOU!

  25. February 18, 2010 2:25 pm

    You are very healthy with all the squash, this sauce would be great on chicken parm also! I enjoy making my marinara sauce’s versus opening a jar, will give this a try soon!

  26. February 18, 2010 2:26 pm

    Oh my, I absolutely ADORE Kerrygold, it’s all I use!

    I love the tomato sauce recipe, I will be sure to try it!

  27. February 18, 2010 2:35 pm

    How can anything with so much better not be good?? This looks amazing and easy. It is definitely on my to-do list!

  28. February 18, 2010 2:41 pm

    i was just thinking i need to make up some tomato sauce and freeze for quick dinner nights….and since i’m obsessed with smitten kitchen i think this is the perfect recipe for me!! even better that it gets the HEAB seal of approval ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Diana permalink
    February 18, 2010 2:42 pm

    It really is better than it should be. It’s just so good.

  30. February 18, 2010 2:49 pm

    Isn’t it funny how some of the simplist things can taste so good??? This is definitely in my to make list! Unfortunately, I can’t eat it with the Kerrigold, but I will find something that I can make it with! Definitely having it on spaghetti squash though…my favorite pasta!

  31. February 18, 2010 2:53 pm

    Seriously, simple recipes are always my favorite! I’ve never heard of that brand of butter- I will be looking for it now. Love that you served the sauce over veggies. I’m thinking of having a big veggie bowl tonight with marinutta mmmm

  32. February 18, 2010 2:56 pm

    Oh I love kerrygold butter!! My parents went on a trip to ireland and got really into irish foods and started buying this and it is so creamy dreamy delicious!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. February 18, 2010 3:05 pm

    I LOVE Kerrygold! So good! Unfortunately, it’s really expensive at my store ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    This sauce looks amazing– and so simple, too!

  34. February 18, 2010 3:25 pm

    There’s nothing I love more than a good sauce! I just got a spiralizer for Christmas and have been using it like crazy. I don’t know how I lived with out it before!

  35. February 18, 2010 5:20 pm

    this would TOTALLY cancel out the stank. do it! sneak those broc’s in!

  36. February 18, 2010 5:35 pm

    Grass fed butter is so much purer tasting, it’s a little remarkable. I’ll need to try kerrygold when I run out. Right now I have organic valley pasture butter, which isn’t 100% but very good quality

  37. February 18, 2010 6:21 pm

    Just wanted to say that I roasted some frozen broccoli and brussels today, and NO STINK!! Not sure why, and they don’t taste as good (but are still really great), but you cold have your beloved broccoli back.

    Yeah, that sauce looks awesome. It’s been added to my ever-growing “to make” list.

  38. February 18, 2010 7:19 pm

    I never though making marinara sauce could be so easy!
    And, gosh, HOLY YUM *-*
    Have a great night!
    Brazilian XOXOยดs,

  39. February 18, 2010 7:34 pm

    I love a good tomato sauce. Muchas gracias, Heather. Out of curiosity, do you use sea salt or regular salt when you salt food? I use normal, but I’ve been told sea salt has that certain je n’cest quoi or something. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  40. February 18, 2010 7:39 pm

    This is really similar to martha stewarts tomato soup recipe which I love! Add veggie broth and puree and you’ve got soup!

  41. The Pancake Girl permalink
    February 18, 2010 7:42 pm

    Nothing beats a quality marinara sauce, that is for certain! Hope you had a great day!

  42. February 18, 2010 8:01 pm

    ooh, i just picked up some kerrygold butter!!! will add to my list ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. February 18, 2010 8:26 pm

    I totally thought that picture of the butter was yours. It’s like a shrine to butter ๐Ÿ™‚ I will definitely make this at some point!

  44. February 18, 2010 8:52 pm

    Ever since you left that recipe in my comments I’ve been dying for it! Sounds amazing! And kerrygold butter is THE best. EVER. Next to what you can actually get in Ireland..

  45. Stephanie permalink
    February 18, 2010 10:00 pm

    Okay, so I’m vegan and therefore the butter thing isn’t for me… but adding fat to my marinara is definitely the way to go! I add almond butter and it is DELICIOUS.

  46. February 18, 2010 10:19 pm

    EE, I use Celtic sea salt – I buy the gray looking wet stuff. It’s unrefined and filled with lots of good minerals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. February 18, 2010 10:21 pm

    Stephanie, Yes, that’s Marinutta: So good, and CD and I were thinking about trying nut butter instead of regular butter next time we make this.

  48. February 18, 2010 10:26 pm

    Brussels don’t seem to smell as bad as broccoli. When we steam broccoli, our house smells like pooh for hours. However, there is no residual smell from the Brussels. It doesn’t help that I basically steam all the nutrients from my broccoli. I like it soft with ZERO crunch, and it takes a while to steam it to my liking. By the time it’s done…stink stink stink. Thanks for reading HEAB!

  49. February 19, 2010 6:03 am

    I always love experimenting with different sauces! As for the butter, I would probably use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter just to lighten it up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. February 19, 2010 6:56 am

    Hey HEAB…I find when I cook fish – salmon or whatever, I can smell it in my little ole apartment (a box really) with a walk-in-kitchen (ugh!) for days…but Iwon’t stop….so I cook and then use air freshener ;)….maybe now you can still have your broccolli :)….I like a “summer fresh” scent or lavender or something haha

  51. February 19, 2010 8:22 am

    Eatmovelove, Yeah, I’ve tried the air freshener thing after cooking broccoli…only made our house smell like someone poohed a bouquet of roses. Not pretty. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  52. February 19, 2010 12:46 pm

    Oh, I love this tomato sauce recipe, too! The butter makes a humble sauce so indulgent. I think it’s similar to Marcella Hazan’s classic recipe. I found it via Orangette here: So it is definitely making its way around the blog-world!

  53. February 19, 2010 1:53 pm

    I am so happy that you just turned me on to this sauce…it’s gonna happen today. I have a huge bunch of fresh basil that I need to use. Wonder if it’ll kill the flavor. After all, who wants anything to get in the way of the butter!

  54. February 19, 2010 2:09 pm

    Thanks for the link Meg!

  55. February 19, 2010 2:10 pm

    Marla, I think the sauce would taste wonderful with a little basil. ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. February 20, 2010 12:54 pm

    Spaghetti squash is soooo good! I love to substitute it for pasta and I really don’t think you lose out on anything by doing so! I think tonight I am going to have pesto shrimp over spaghetti squash.. I can’t wait! I will have to make this tomato sauce some time too! Love it.

  57. February 20, 2010 2:09 pm

    I’m making the sauce now – smells so good. I added a few whole cloves of garlic and intend to take those out before consuming. I plan to add some parsley as well. Will post my comments on the final product later.

  58. February 20, 2010 2:22 pm

    Kristina, I bet it does smell so good with the garlic. Yum. Can’t wait to hear how it tastes!

  59. February 20, 2010 3:34 pm

    There really truly is no better flavor than butter. Sigh. And the good news is that it’s the same exact calories as oil!


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