Not My Grandma's Sauce

Anyone who knows me knows that sauce is my main source of happiness and energy. Any kind will do, but my favorite is my grandma's meat sauce. Unfortunately, I am too poor (cheap) to buy meat all the time, so every week I make a meatless variation. I dress my pasta with it, I put way too much of it (which is the perfect amount) on pizza, I dip plain bread into it, I use it as a mayonnaise replacement in sandwiches... I would put it in my breakfast cereal if my wife didn't look at me weird whenever I tried. Yes, sauce is my passion and I always want it.

My meatless version is the easiest thing to make on the entire planet. It's basically placing three ingredients into a pot and then walking away. Thickened with butter (because I am too cheap to buy or make fatty broths or stocks), it has the perfect texture and richness to add to really any food at all, but my wife would probably advise you to stick to pizza and pasta.

Butter Count: 4 Tbsp


28 oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes

4 Tbsp butter

1/2 brown onion, outer layer removed

5 large basil leaves (optional)

1 Tbsp dried oregano (optional)



1. Place all ingredients in a small pot, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 4 hours, mashing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon halfway through.

NOTE: Large pieces of onion will most likely fall off and into the sauce. I prefer to leave these large pieces in, but you can always remove them. The entire onion will be very soft, and I love eating it on crostini with some Parmesan shaved on top, but be aware of week-long stink tongue!

NOTE: Depending on the tomatoes, the sauce may turn out quite sour. If this happens, add about 2 Tbsp of sugar near the end of cooking. If it gets too sweet, just add some salt.