June 16, 2010

Marinara sauce from scratch

When thinking of homemade marinara sauce, I’m sure the image that comes to mind for many of y’all is what it used to be for me: slaving over a hot stove for hours – stirring…and stirring…and stirring some more – to achieve results that probably don’t taste as good as what you can buy in a jar.

That couldn’t be any further from the truth! Making marinara sauce at home couldn’t possibly be easier, and I can say without any equivocation that if this sauce and a jar of your current favorite were pitted against one another, the contest would be over before it began.

The beauty of this sauce is its simplicity: no fussy ingredients, no fancy-schmancy cooking methods. Just fresh veggies and herbs coupled with sweet-tart tomatoes and a minimal investment of time!

Amy’s Marinara Sauce

1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 to 1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (35-oz.) can whole tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Helpful Hints and Tips

  • Much of the flavor of this sauce is imparted from the adequate caramelizing of the onions. Don’t skimp on this step! Make sure they are nice and golden before proceeding.
  • The imported tomato paste you can buy in a tube is a bit more of an up front investment, but it saves money in the long run since you can use only what you need and conveniently store the rest for later use. And it has a much richer taste than the canned varieties! I buy this paste made by Amore at Kroger.
  • This sauce can easily be doubled for freezing. Divide among freezer-safe zip-top bags and freeze for up to 6 months. A quick and easy weeknight meal solution!

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8 Responses to Marinara sauce from scratch

  1. Ott, A. June 16, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    this looks delish! I made homemade marinara sause last summer with fresh tomatoes from our garden. I then canned a bunch to get us through the winter months. I bet we eat itallian food 2-3 times a month and I haven’t bought any sauce in a jar from the store in about a year. I might have to try your recipe this year when the tomatoes are ready to be picked.

  2. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} June 16, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    Very nice! Sounds easy enough and looks delicious. I may give this a go the next time we make homemade pizza! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Brenda June 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    THANK YOU for posting this! I am putting it on the menu for the week!

  4. Blessed Mommy of 2 June 16, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks for the tomato paste tip!

  5. Erin June 17, 2010 at 2:31 am #

    I’m so excited to try this as I am growing basil right now and have a TON of it!

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. JannaScraps June 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    YUMMY…I love marinara!!! Something scrumptious to do with that fresh basil and oregano!!! Sounds good for dinner!! HUGS!

  7. Vivian February 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Scoop left over tomato paste onto a parchment lined tray and freeze then store in a zip lock bag. No waste.

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