My Basic Marinara

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This past weekend while I was out of town a lady posted a comment on my Overly Stuffed Shells asking for my marinara sauce recipe.  It occurred to me that I’d never given it out.  I’ve been asked many times over the years, but just never got around to handing it out.  I have many recipes that list it as an ingredient; 1 cup marinara or 20 ounces favorite marinara, etc and not one that lists what’s in it.

Well, I decided to change that.  The following is my recipe for a thick rich marinara.  I use imported tomatoes from Italy that are generally lower in acid and require no sugar to be added other than the natural sugar in the onions and carrots.  Marinara really doesn’t require alot of special ingredients.  In fact I find many people get carried away adding too many things and the sauce becomes a jumbled mess.  Although I add dried herbs at the start for depth, I add fresh herbs at the end to brighten the sauce.  Enjoy!

I started by adding roughly diced 1 large sweet onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes to my food processor.

I pulsed them until they were finely minced and transferred to a bowl.

I added 2 diced carrots and 3 teaspoons dried Italian herbs seasoning(no rosemary included in it) to my food processor and pulsed until finely minced then transferred to the bowl with the onions.

In a large heavy bottom pot I added 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat.  I added the vegetables and cooked until softened about 10 minutes.  I added 1/2 cup dry white wine and reduced for 2 minutes.

I added a 35 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes(imported Italian) to my food processor and whirled them until crushed.  I added them to the pot along with a 28 ounce can of tomato puree(imported Italian) and 1 6 ounce can of tomato paste then stirred to combine.  I seasoned with 4 large pinches of kosher salt and reduced the heat to my lowest setting and let it simmer for 1 hour.

This is what it looks like after an hour.  It’s thickening up nice.

I stirred in a handful of chopped basil about 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley and let it simmer an additional 20 minutes.

Here’s the final outcome.  Enjoy!

My Basic Marinara
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This thick rich marinara will become your staple sauce. Its simple unmettled flavors accompany any pasta perfectly.
Recipe type: Sauce, Main
Serves: 10
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 3 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning(no rosemary included)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 35 ounce can whole plum tomatoes from Italy
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree from Italy
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 4 large pinches of salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  1. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to a food processor and pulse until minced and transfer to a bowl. Add the carrots and dried Italian herb seasoning to the food processor and pulse until minced and transfer to the bowl with the onions.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes until softened. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the canned whole tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until finely crushed then add them to the pot along with the tomato puree and tomato paste. Stir to combine and season with the salt then simmer on the lowest setting for 1 hour.
  4. Add the chopped herbs and simmer another 20 minutes. If you feel it's getting too thick and a little water.





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My Basic Marinara — 2 Comments

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