Amazing 3-ingredient pasta sauce recipe. How can 3 simple ingredients taste this rich and good? Click to find out.

I’m not a pasta person. I’d much rather have pizza, soup or a sandwich. But this particular pasta sauce has made me a believer.

Don’t be fooled. While there are only three ingredients in this cheap pasta sauce recipe – tomatoes, butter, and onion – you would never know it. It’s rich, creamy, and full of flavor. That’s why I call it amazing 3-ingredient pasta sauce.

This recipe – which has been making its rounds on the Internet – was originally developed by the Italian cook and writer Marcella Hazan. I discovered it on one of my favorite recipe blogs, Savoury Table.

The Cost

  • Large can of tomatoes = $1.68
  • Butter (5 tablespoons) = $.55
  • Onion (1/2 large onion) = $.20
  • Pasta (1 pound) = $.88

Total cost for four people = $3.31


Cheap recipe tip: Buy a bag of onions, instead of individual ones, for ultimate cost savings.

Amazing 3-ingredient pasta sauce recipe. Marcella Hazan recipe. Click through for recipe.

This recipe is part of the $10 Food Day series, which features four recipes (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack) that will feed a family of four for less than $10 – for the entire day. View the other $10 Food Day recipes:

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Amazing 3-ingredient pasta sauce recipe

Amazing 3-Ingredient Pasta Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Not into pasta? Use this delicious sauce like you would use marinara sauce: On pizza, as a breadstick dipper, or in a casserole.


  • 1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, cut in half


Place tomatoes, butter, and onion half in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 45 minutes, remove from heat and remove and discard the onion.

Use an immersion blender to puree the tomato sauce. If you don't have an immersion blender, allow the sauce to cool, place in a blender, and puree until smooth. Reheat the sauce before serving.

Serve over pasta.

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