Marinara Sauce

Here is a basic recipe for marinara sauce, to accompany meatballs, pasta, cooked sausage or anything to be complimented by a tomato sauce.


  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chili flakes, to taste
  • 2 28-ounce cans tomato purée, San Marzano tomatoes if possible
  • 1 28-ounce. can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes if possible
  • Splash of red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or red wine)
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 tsp. salt, to taste


In a sauce pot over a medium low heat, cook the garlic and onion in the olive oil for about 10 minutes or until garlic is tender and onions translucent, not brown. Tthis is called “sweating” because it will draw out a lot of moisture and flavor. Add the chili flakes to taste.

Add all the tomato products. You can use whole San Marzano tomatoes instead, and just crush them with your hand — which will give you sauce and some tomato pulp. Pour the chicken stock (or wine) into one of the 28-oz cans. Drizzle a little water in each of the remaining tomato cans to remove any remaining tomato product, and pour into the pot along with the sugar. Stir and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and cover. Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The sauce should be fairly thin, but not watery and very smooth. Uncover and simmer if it is too thin for your taste; add a little water if it seems thick.- Yields 6 cups

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