Adapted from Every Night Italian by Giuliano Hazan
This recipe is truly amazing; better than the sum of its parts. As odd as this sounds, it is especially good served with the Creamed Lima Beans as a side dish. If you try it, you will make the combination often. The difference between this recipe and Marcella's Miracle Sauce is that here her son slices the onion instead of cutting in half. A simple difference, yes, but it does change the dish, so see which you prefer.
1 cup yellow onion, halved and very thinly sliced crosswise (I use a large sweet onion)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups canned whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice, coarsely chopped, or 3 pounds fresh, ripe, flavorful tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
1 pound spaghetti (I also like this with rigatoni)
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (can also mix half and half with Pecorino Romano if you like its sharpness)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Put the onion and butter in a sauté pan or saucier, and place it over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion very s l o w l y turns a light caramel color. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, and season with salt. Raise the heat a little so that the tomatoes cook at a moderate simmer. Cook the tomatoes until the butter separates from the sauce, about 20 minutes.
Cook the pasta, completely submerged, in at least 6 quarts of salted boiling water in a large pot until it is al dente. Drain the pasta, and immediately toss it with the sauce. Mix in the grated cheese and season with black pepper (optional). Serve at once.