Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce

img_2288OMG! I came across this recipe by accident, printed it out and then did nothing with it for months! What a fool I was. This is one of those recipes that doesn’t look like much, but is actually amazing – and it is made with entirely shelf-stable foods – well except for the butter, but I actually consider that shelf stable since it lasts for a long time and I always have it on hand. Don’t get me wrong – olive oil is wonderful and I used it even when years ago they told us it wasn’t good for you, but sometimes butter really is better. The finished product looks deceptively unassuming, but the taste – oh the taste! This is a keeper if for no other reason than your house will smell incredible. The actual sauce can be made up to 4 days ahead.

Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce by Dawn Perry Bon Appetit

Yield: 4 servings


28 ounces of whole canned tomatoes (use San Marzano please)

8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

3 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil (I promise that you won’t see them in the finished product)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (we found 1/2 teaspoon was a bit spicy for us, but we are not particularly into heat)

Kosher salt and freshly ground cracked black pepper

12 ounces bucatini (if you absolutely can’t find bucatini, use spaghetti)

Grated Parmesan, Pecorino or Asiago for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a large rectangular baking dish, combine the tomatoes (crushing lightly with your hands), garlic, anchovies, butter and red pepper flakes. Season with a little (about 1/2 teaspoon) of salt and several good cracks of black pepper.
  2. Roast, tossing once halfway through, for about an hour to 1 hour. Using a fork or potato masher, break up the tomatoes and garlic. The consistency should be like loose jam. I cooked my sauce in the morning up to this point, covered it and went out for the day.
  3. 30 minutes before you are ready to eat, warm the sauce, covered in a 350 degree F oven. Meanwhile boil the water for the pasta and cook according to directions.
  4. Just before you pour out the pasta to drain, take 1/2 cup of the starchy water and add it to the tomato mixture, stirring it through.
  5. Drain your pasta and add it to the tomato mixture, mixing it through to coat everything with the sauce. It’s a powerful sauce filled with flavor so don’t get hung up on the fact that it doesn’t look impressive. Serve it topped with cheese and fresh chopped parsley or basil if you want some color.

Note: This sauce would make a wonderful pizza sauce; simply don’t add the pasta water.

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