Marcella Hazan, the cooking teacher and author whose works redefined Italian food for a generation of American cooks died at 89 on Sept. 29. Hazan lived and taught for four decades in New York City. Her philosophy was less is more and her cookbooks inspired a generation. I certainly was! My own memories of watching her on The Today Show as she debuted her newest cookbooks led me to a favorite recipe. I've noted it here. If you think that looks good, come and check out the other Hazan titles from the Merrick Library.
In a pot, empty a can of whole peeled tomatoes in their own juices and mash them up up a bit with the back of a spoon. Add 5 tablespoons butter, 1 medium yellow onion cut in half and a pinch of salt. Turn up the heat, bring it to a simmer, and cook gently for 45 minutes. Stir now and then and, towards the end, taste for salt. Continue to mash any large pieces of tomato with the back of the spoon. Discard the onion before serving. Your whole kitchen will smell like a combination of an Italian grandmother’s kitchen and a pastry shop (that’s the tomatoes and butter marrying together). Abbundanza!