The best part of this dish is perhaps not only the two minutes it takes to dump the 3 ingredients in a pot, or the fact that a 6-year-old can do this (for you), but also that these three ingredients are things that, along with dry pasta, pretty much anyone who has a kitchen and owns a chef knife tends to have in the fridge and pantry at all times, even if you are about to leave the country for half a month (possibly, forever) as we are, have not cooked in days, even weeks, or just plain old can't stand making dinner. Ever.
Before I detail the three ingredients and super simple cooking method for this dish below, I will confess that, in addition, this evening I am adding three small fresh bay leaves to my sauce. Not because you need them, or the sauce needs them, but simply because my mother, bless her, literally uprooted her enviable bay leaf plant right out of its pot, tossed it in a cardboard box, lose soil and all, and shipped it to me as a birthday "surprise" last month. (When the package arrived, from the dark dirt sprinkling through the seam of the box onto my shoes, and baby, and also coloring the clear packing tape, I had a small hunch something special had come my way––unfortunately not a hunch I listened to, as I opened said box right on our newly cleaned rug). So, dirt aside, bay leaves abound in our home at the moment, and before we skip town, I'm determined to enjoy this gift every way I can. You definitely don't need to follow suit to enjoy this meal, however.
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
5 tablespoons of butter (about 2/3 of stick)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled but KEPT WHOLE
Pasta, rice or ravioli to serve with
Simply put can of tomatoes, whole peeled onion, and butter, in a sauce pan, season with salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, while your pasta water boils and pasta cooks--about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil large pot of salted water for your pasta, and cook pasta of your choice according to package directions.
Strain pasta when done, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Toss pasta in sauce, adding a little pasta water, until you reach the desired saucy consistency.
Serve immediately with a few fresh basil leaves if you wish, and freshly grated cheese.