5-ingredient weeknight tomato sauce

I have found that a rich and satisfying tomato sauce does not require hours of simmering to be beautiful. It actually only takes about 30 minutes and 5 ingredients (I don’t count salt and pepper, okay, everyone better have that!). The secret ingredient? BUTTER. I know it sounds odd, but melting butter in the sauce at the very end adds creaminess and balances the sharp acidity of the tomato and really rounds everything out. I was shocked and pleasantly surprised at how much of a difference it made. You are going to fall in love with this sauce, just as I have. Plus, it’s part of my Pantry Pasta series because most people will have the very few ingredients necessary for this pasta on hand. I love it with spaghetti or bucatini, but any pasta will work and be lovely! Happy eating folks!

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Yield: 3 cups sauce

5-ingredient weeknight tomato sauce

prep time: 5 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 35 mins


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed well by hand
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooked spaghetti


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt two tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes without allowing the garlic to brown (you may need to lower the heat). Add the crushed tomatoes and the juice to the pan. Add the oregano and crushed red pepper. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter until the sauce is creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta and top with parmesan and more crushed red pepper, if desired. 


Use the best whole peeled tomatoes you can find and crush them by hand. The texture is superior to crushed tomatoes in the can.
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