Italian Marinara Sauce



I am not Italian.

If I was, my life would be a lot different.  I probably wouldn’t emit a translucent glow from my skin when I wear shorts.  I would probably find reality shows about the shores of Jersey a lot more emtertaining.  And, I’d probably have a hand-me-down recipe for “sauce” that came from my grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother.  I was very lucky to marry into an Italian family, but despite this, I have really tried to create my own unique recipe.  And, there have been too many fails to count.

I want to understand sauce.  I want to make friends.  I want to understand why every restaurant menu offers marinara, red sauce and tomato sauce as three completely separate options.  I want to understand why store bought varieties each contain different concentrations of herbs, spices, vegetables and meat.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or attention span to dive headfirst into advanced sauce-ology.  So instead, I scoured the web for classic Italian sauce.  To me, this means a minimalist recipe with only a few ingredients.  But when you combine these ingredients together in  a hot pot, they transform into something strong and bold and brilliant.

After several attempts, I think I have finally created a recipe that combines simple quality ingredients with minimal fuss and creates a delicious homemade sauce that even my husband’s Nonna can appreciate!

On a side note, the picture above is meant to serve two purposes: 1) to show this sauce with a few of my Italian meatballs swimming about, and 2) to show you what a tremendous mess I make whenever I cook sauce.  My kitchen stove looks like a crime scene every single time!



Italian Marinara Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium white onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 pint of canned tomatoes

2 pints of canned tomato purée/sauce

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp dried parsley

1 tbsp dried basil

1/2 tbsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp roasted red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until slightly translucent, about 5-6 minutes.

Add garlic and cook an additional minute.

Add the rest of the ingredient and stir to combine.  Decrease heat to low and simmer 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot over pasta.



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