Homemade Marinara Sauce

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This is one of those sauces that you should make at least once. Once you’ve done that, I’m confident you’ll make it one of your family’s go-to recipes. This sauce is quick, easy, and nutritious, and it serves as the foundation for a variety of other dishes. 😋🍅 

What’s the Difference between Marinara Sauce and Tomato Sauce?

Marinara sauce is a simple sauce with only garlic, crushed red pepper, and basil for seasoning. It’s best made with crushed or canned plum tomatoes that have been coarsely crushed by hand. On the other hand, Tomato sauce is a more involved process that begins with pureed tomatoes, onion, carrot, celery, seasoned with bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and salt, then simmered until thickened and flavorful. As a result, the flavor is more complex and sweeter.

Is Marinara Sauce From Italian?

I understand that many people will not agree with what I am about to say. Still, my theory is that if the tomato was first grown in South America and Central America, I am sure that many people in these areas, such as Paraguay, already knew how to make a marinara sauce or tomato sauce.

With that said, there are many theories as well as the origin of this sauce. One version states that cook aboard Neapolitan ships in the mid-16th century after the Spanish introduced the tomato to Europe. Due to the high acid content of tomatoes, this meatless sauce was easy to make and slow to spoil, making it ideal for long sea voyages centuries before the invention of proper refrigeration methods.

How to Make The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce

Main Ingredients for Marinara Sauce 

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes
  • Dried oregano 
  • Fresh Basil, roughly torn 
  • Red wine, such as Malbec or water

How do you make Homemade Marinara Sauce from Scratch?

  1. In a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and poblano pepper; season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until soft and tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Finally, add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits of the pan until almost all the liquid evaporates about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and their liquid, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens about 1 hour, stirring from time to time and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spatula as they cook until the sauce is chunky and thick, about 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in the basil and oregano, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the marinara sauce thickens to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

How do you Store & Re-heat?

Refrigerate in a seal-tight container for up to 5 days. Rewarm over medium heat or in the microwave before using.

What goes with Marinara Sauce?

Can you make it ahead?

The Marinara sauce can be made one day ahead. First, cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Can you Freeze & Re-heat?

Freeze the cooled marinara sauce in a seal-tight container for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen Marinara sauce in your fridge and then reheat it on the stovetop over low heat until warm, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally or in the microwave until heated.

Can you use Fresh Tomatoes?

Yes, you can make this sauce with fresh tomatoes; only make sure ripe tomatoes. (If using fresh tomatoes, increase the amount of olive oil slightly.)

Can I Double the recipe?

This Marinara Sauce recipe can be doubled or tripled, or frozen for later use. How to Make The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce

5 Tips for making The Perfect Homemade Marinara Sauce

  • Allow enough cooking time so it can develop more flavor.
  • Variations: Try adding other ingredients such as red bell pepper, celery, olive, capers, carrots to build up flavors.
  • For smooth Marinara: Use an immersion blender and puree until smooth.
  • For a chunky Marinara: Coarsely crushed by hand before cooking or crush the tomatoes with your spatula after.
  • When using all fresh tomatoes, make sure they’re ripe and plum, and increase the extra virgin olive to 1/2 cup for optimal results.
  • To kick the flavor up a notch, try adding Herbes de Provence (No Lavender added)

Yield: 6 servings | Total Time:45 minutes

What you’ll need for this recipe

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 large poblano, finely diced (optional)
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and silvered
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, optional
  • 1 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes, lightly crushed or 3 lb ripe plum fresh tomatoes
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, julienne or Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine, such as Malbec or water

How to Make The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce

In a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, fresh tomatoes, and poblano pepper; season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until soft and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and sugar and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits of the pan until almost all the liquid evaporates about 3 minutes.

 

Add the canned tomatoes and their liquid, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens about 1 hour, stirring from time to time and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spatula as they cook until the sauce is chunky and thick, about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. If, at any point, the sauce is getting dry, add some water.

Stir in the basil and oregano, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the marinara sauce thickens to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. For a smooth Marinara sauce, use an immersion blender or a standard blender to purée the Marinara Sauce in batches until smooth enough for your taste.

 

If using a standard blender, take care not to fill the jar more than half full per batch, leave the hole in the lid open, cover with a clean dishtowel to allow the heat to escape), and pour it back into the saucepan. 

How to Make The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce

Notes:

  • Refrigerate in a seal-tight container for up to 5 days. Rewarm over medium heat or microwave before using.
  • Allow enough cooking time so it can develop more flavor.
  • Try adding other ingredients such as poblano pepper, celery, carrots to build up flavors.
  • For smooth Marainara: Use an immersion blender and puree until smooth.
  • For a chunky Marinera: Coarsely crushed by hand before cooking or crush the tomatoes with your spatula after.
  • When using fresh plum tomatoes, increase the extra virgin olive to 1/2 cup for optimal results.
  • To kick the flavor up a notch, try adding Herbes de Provence (No Lavender added)
  • The Marinara sauce can be made one day ahead. First, cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  • Freeze the cooled marinara sauce in a seal-tight container for up to 1 month.

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The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce

Homemade Marinara Sauce

This is one of those sauces that you should make at least once. Once you've done that, I'm confident you'll make it one of your family's go-to recipes. This sauce is quick, easy, and nutritious, and it serves as the foundation for a variety of other dishes. 😋🍅 
Servings 6 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion , finely diced
  • 1 large poblano , finely diced (optional)
  • 8 cloves garlic , peeled and silvered
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt , to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar , optional
  • 1 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes, lightly crushed or 3 lb ripe plum fresh tomatoes
  • 5 Roma tomatoes , chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil , julienne or Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine , such as Malbec or water

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, fresh tomatoes, and poblano pepper; season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until soft and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the wine and sugar and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits of the pan until almost all the liquid evaporates about 3 minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and their liquid, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to simmering and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens about 1 hour, stirring from time to time and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spatula as they cook until the sauce is chunky and thick, about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. If, at any point, the sauce is getting dry, add some water.
  • Stir in the basil and oregano, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the marinara sauce thickens to desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. For a smooth Marinara sauce, use an immersion blender or a standard blender to purée the Marinara Sauce in batches until smooth enough for your taste.
  • If using a standard blender, take care not to fill the jar more than half full per batch, leave the hole in the lid open, cover with a clean dishtowel to allow the heat to escape), and pour it back into the saucepan.

Notes

  • Refrigerate in a seal-tight container for up to 5 days. Rewarm over medium heat or microwave before using. Allow enough cooking time so it can develop more flavor.
  • Try adding other ingredients such as poblano pepper, celery, carrots to build up flavors. For smooth Marainara: Use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. For a chunky Marinera: Coarsely crushed by hand before cooking or crush the tomatoes with your spatula after.
  • When using fresh plum tomatoes, increase the extra virgin olive to 1/2 cup for optimal results.
  • To kick the flavor up a notch, try adding Herbes de Provence (No Lavender added)
  • The Marinara sauce can be made one day ahead. First, cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  • Freeze the cooled marinara sauce in a seal-tight container for up to 1 month.
Author: Camila Benitez
Calories: 65kcal
Course: Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Marinara Sauce

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