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.