Rigatoni with Butter, Tomato, and Onion Sauce

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4 to 6 servings Easy
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Ingredients (6)

  • 3 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzanos) with their juice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons (about 2/3 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni pasta
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

This recipe (adapted from Giuliano Hazan’s recollection of his mother, Marcela’s, go-to pasta sauce in Hazan Family Favorites) is almost technique-free, and there’s essentially no mess, plus you only have to remember to give it a stir three times throughout the cooking process. No surprise, but butter does create magic when allied with onion and tomatoes.

Instructions

  1. 1Add the whole tomatoes, their juice, the onion, butter, and salt to a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, give it a good stir and reduce the heat to low—you want a slow, steady simmer. Cook until thick, about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  2. 2Put a large pot of salted water over high heat. About 15 minutes before the sauce is done, start cooking the pasta according to the package directions or until al dente. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water and drain; set the drained pasta and cooking water aside, and reserve the pot.
  3. 3Transfer the sauce to the pasta pot, add the cooked rigatoni and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and stir to combine. Add some of the reserved cooking water if the pasta looks dry. Serve in warmed bowls with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the side.
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