Recipe: Classic Red Tomato Sauce a la Marcella Hazan

This is the classic red tomato sauce as you make it when tomatoes are at their peak. Wonderful for pasta or pizza.


10 pounds San Marzano tomatoes
1 ½ cup each finely chopped onion, celery and carrot
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (mild, not overly “grassy” in taste)
Salt and sugar

San Marzano red sauce following Marcella Hazan recipe

San Marzano red sauce following Marcella Hazan recipe

Method: Dump the tomatoes into a sink or very large bowl full of water. Take them out slicing each in half lengthwise and cutting out any bad spots and transfer to a large pot. Bring to a simmer, covered; the water from washing will be enough liquid so they don’t stick. Once the mixture is bubbling away remove the lid and continue simmering about 90 minutes more until the tomatoes have lost their individual identity. Allow to cool to a safe handling temperature, then put them through a food strainer. I did this twice: at a coarse setting to remove the skins, then a finer setting to remove the seeds.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion in about ¼ cup olive oil until translucent. Remove then sauté carrots 5 minutes, then add celery and sauté 3 minutes more. Puree the carrots, onions and celery in a food processer and add to strained tomatoes. Cook 30 minutes then taste for seasoning. I only added 1 T of salt and 1 T of sugar and thought about using even less than this; the tomatoes themselves were that good and complete.

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