There are hundreds of ways to make Marinara Sauce.
This homemade recipe is quick, simple, and so delicious! I’m a proud Italian, but I don’t take issue with one’s personal preference. If you want to call it something different, or make it your own way, good for you.
A little history…
Marinara sauce originated with sailors in Naples in the 16th century, after the Spaniards introduced the tomato to their neighboring countries. The word marinara is derived frommarinaro, which is Italian for “seafaring.” Many people mistakenly believe this sauce includes some type of fish or seafood because of the origins of the name. Loosely translated, however, it means “the sauce of the sailors.” See Reference
I’ve been making marinara, my own way, for many years. I vary a few things. If I have a semi-dry red wine on hand, I’ll use it in lieu of sugar or carrots (which lesson the acidity in the tomatoes and gives the sauce a richer taste). If I have enough time and the fresh tomatoes on hand, I’ll roast them in lieu of using canned tomatoes. (Although I honestly feel that Hunts canned tomatoes and Contadina tomato paste work superbly together!)
Aside from tomatoes (in the form of paste or a pureed sauce), I never sacrifice the garlic, onion, and fresh basil. The other seasonings can be dry. It doesn’t make a difference in my opinion.
Oh, one more thing. I have noticed a better quality in taste when I use my dutch oven, because it can handle higher temperatures, and it’s perfect for slow cooking. Even though this sauce can be made in a little over an hour, if you have the time TAKE IT! The next day is always the BEST day to eat marinara. It’s thicker and sweeter. [divider] Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe
So, this particular version of homemade marinara is for the busy-cook because it uses canned tomatoes.
Ingredients (This recipe yields enough sauce for 2 lbs. of pasta. Unless you like a lot of sauce per serving! Feel free to freeze any leftovers.)
* 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
* One large Spanish Onion
* 3-5 Cloves of Garlic (I like a lot of garlic, so I use at least 5 cloves.)
* 3 oz (or 1/3 Cup) tomato paste (I recommend Contadina – Use half of the smallest 6oz. jar.)
* 28 oz. tomato sauce (I recommend Hunts!)
*28 oz. diced tomatoes (If you don’t like a semi-chunky marinara, omit the diced tomatoes and use 2 cans of sauce, instead.)
* 1 1/2 Cups Water
* 1 Cup of Fresh Chopped Basil
* 2 T. dried Oregano (optional)
* 1/2 Cup of Red Table Wine**
* 2 Bay Leaves
* 1 tsp. Salt
* 1 tsp. Pepper
**The table wine will cut the acid and make your sauce a little sweeter. I recommend a semi-dry/fruity blend like Franzia Chillable Red, or perhaps a pinot noir. But, if you prefer, you can use 2 Tbs. Sugar instead of the wine. Add the sugar when you are adding the dry seasonings. Another alternative to cut the acid and give a more balanced taste is to add 2 carrots, chopped and sauteed with the onion and garlic.
IF you omit the wine, you may need to add in another half cup of water, as the sauce may be too thick.
* Add EVOO to a Dutch Oven or Large Saucepan over Medium High Flame.
* Saute Onions, garlic (and carrots if using in lieu of wine or sugar) for about 5 minutes, until softened, stirring constantly. * Lower flame to Medium. Add wine go deglaze the pan, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
*Then, add the tomato paste, and stir for at least 3 minutes.
* Stir in dry seasonings. Bring to a boil, then keep at a simmer over a low flame, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. * If you prefer the sauce smoother, you can run it through a food processor. I won’t guarantee the authentic quality if you do so, but it’s completely your choice! Serve the sauce with a pound of your favorite pasta.