This is one of the most popular pasta sauce recipes in the world—and it only requires 4 ingredients

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For French cooking, we had Julia Child, but for Italian cooking, we had Marcella Hazan. The late Hazan published several popular cookbooks, including the “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” and “The Classic Italian Cook Book.” Mastering these dishes will teach you everything you need to know about serving up delicious, authentic Italian dinners to your family — and that sometimes, it’s best to keep things simple.

Hazan’s super easy and tasty pasta sauce recipe is a fan favorite. It only requires four ingredients and will surely change the way you eat pasta for the better. No more jarred pasta sauces for you! From here on out, it’ll be homemade.

All you’ll need to bring this robust sauce to life is canned tomatoes, butter, an onion and salt. Yep, that’s it!

The most unexpected element of this recipe is also the one that gives the sauce its famous texture: the butter. Don’t be afraid to use the amount of butter this recipe calls for, because it’ll make your sauce turn out so much better than the sauces you’ve created before. Besides, who are we to argue with a master like Hazan?

Let the ingredients simmer together for 45 minutes, and it’ll be ready to serve with noodles, roasted vegetables, parmesan chicken — you name it.

See how it’s done in the video below, posted by Hazan’s son:

Those who have tried this recipe and rated it online have nothing but good things to say about it. Plenty of people are surprised at how few ingredients are needed to create the perfect pasta sauce.

“As others said, on my own, I would have reached for basil, garlic, etc; is not necessary here,” one reviewer wrote.

So, ditch everything you thought you knew about cooking pasta sauce and let Hazan show you how it’s done.

Hazan died in 2013, but her recipes live on. You can find copies of her cookbooks online. The “Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking” is available for $24.50 on Amazon.


If you’re interested in learning the basics of Italian cooking, following one of Hazan’s recipes is a great way to do just that — and cooking this simple but delicious pasta sauce is a great jumping-off point.

Guess we know what we’re having for dinner tonight!