House-made Marinara

August 8, 2012

Looking for something to do with all those tomatoes? You definitely should make a big batch of this sauce. Sometimes the simplest dishes are the most flavorful. I’ve made this sauce for years, and it always amazes me how delicious a bowl of noodles drenched in tomato sauce can really taste.

Look at that rich red color! The flavor is even richer. This marinara sauce is ideal for freezing and eating on a cold winter night. So you should double or triple the recipe.

from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup minced onion
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 lbs fresh tomatoes- peeled, seeded, & pureed (4 cups of puree) OR
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes (3.5 cups puree)
1 large basil stem, leaves removed
1 teaspoon sea salt
baking soda or sugar, if needed


To make the tomato puree, first quarter the tomatoes. Then, peel and seed the tomatoes. 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes makes about 4 cups of puree. Place peeled and seeded tomatoes in a food processor and puree.

Heat the olive oil in a ceramic pot over moderate heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent- about 8 minutes. Add the parsley and garlic. Cook briefly to release their fragrance. Add the tomato puree, basil and salt. Simmer briskly until reduced to a saucelike consistency. Stir occasionally so nothing sticks to the bottom. The timing will depend on the ripeness and meatiness of your tomatoes and size of your pot. Anywhere from 30 minutes- 2 hours. If the sauce thickens too much before the flavor develops, add a little water and continue to cook.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. I always add a good amount of salt. If the sauce is too acidic, add a pinch of baking soda and cook for 5 more minutes. If it needs a touch of sweetness, add the sugar, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove basil stem before serving.

Makes 2-2 ½ cups. This freezes very well so double or triple the recipe when tomatoes are plentiful.

Here is a printable recipe-Marinara Sauce

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