So Simple, Yet So Good

by HEAB on 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!


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) February 20, 2010 at 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!

Kristina February 20, 2010 at 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.

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm

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

Eileen February 20, 2010 at 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.

marla {family fresh cooking} February 19, 2010 at 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!

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

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

Meg February 19, 2010 at 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!

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 19, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for the link Meg!

eatmovelove February 19, 2010 at 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

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 19, 2010 at 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˜‰

CaSaundra February 19, 2010 at 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™‚

Stephanie February 18, 2010 at 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.

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2010 at 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.

theprocessofhealing February 18, 2010 at 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..

Maggie February 18, 2010 at 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!

Shannon February 18, 2010 at 8:01 pm

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

The Pancake Girl February 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm

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

n.D. February 18, 2010 at 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!

EE February 18, 2010 at 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˜‰

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2010 at 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™‚

Gabriela (froyolover) February 18, 2010 at 7:19 pm

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

Katie February 18, 2010 at 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.

Evan Thomas February 18, 2010 at 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

Sarah (Shep) February 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm

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

Nicole @ Making Good Choices February 18, 2010 at 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!

Anna February 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm

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

This sauce looks amazing– and so simple, too!

homecookedem February 18, 2010 at 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™‚

Erica February 18, 2010 at 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

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 18, 2010 at 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!

Diana February 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm

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

thedelishdish February 18, 2010 at 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™‚

Ameena February 18, 2010 at 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!

Jo February 18, 2010 at 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!

Julie @ Pickley Pear February 18, 2010 at 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!

Morgan @ Life After Bagels February 18, 2010 at 2:17 pm

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

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heathee February 18, 2010 at 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.

The Brunette February 18, 2010 at 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™‚

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2010 at 2:13 pm

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

Mara @ What's For Dinner? February 18, 2010 at 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…

eaternotarunner February 18, 2010 at 2:05 pm

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

Holly February 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

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

livelifeeatright February 18, 2010 at 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!

amber February 18, 2010 at 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!

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2010 at 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!

eatmovelove February 18, 2010 at 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?

Heather Eats Almond Butter February 18, 2010 at 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™‚

Nicole February 18, 2010 at 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!

JillyB February 18, 2010 at 12:26 pm

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

Lara (Thinspired) February 18, 2010 at 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˜‰

Carolyn February 18, 2010 at 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˜‰

adrienmelaine February 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm

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

Ashley L February 18, 2010 at 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.

Kelly February 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

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

brittac February 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

the meal looks oh so good!

musingsofthegranolagirl February 18, 2010 at 10:51 am

those brussell sprouts look DELISH!

Shelly February 18, 2010 at 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!!

ilanalala February 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

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

Madeline - Greens and Jeans February 18, 2010 at 10:00 am

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

Heather February 18, 2010 at 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™‚

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