Marinara Sauce

September 3, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments
Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

My very first blog entry was homemade pasta where I promised I would have a future entry dedicated to the sauce I use with it.  Nothing.

Then a few weeks later I made the meatball entry, where again, I made promise to blog my sauce recipe. Still nothing.

I did pizza entries (both on the grill and my deep dish) both of which need sauce, but yet, no sauce recipe. (Yikes)

I think the last straw for me to get off my butt and actually write about it came recently when a couple of friends of mine asked “When do I get the sauce recipe?”

Guess I better get to it.

Oh, but before I do, let me mention that a good marinara sauce is one of the simplest things you can make.  It tastes better than jarred sauce (and its better for you).  It’s cheaper than jarred sauce (stock up when canned tomatoes are on sale).  And best of all, it is just as quick to make as sauce from a jar.  Not to mention, other than the tomatoes, most everyone has all the ingredients in their pantry.

Take that convenience argument!

(If you don’t have garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil in your pantry, shame on you – quit reading and run out and buy these staples and keep them on hand – don’t forget the tomatoes)

Finally you might be thinking why canned when there is an abundance of tomatoes in season right now?  Personally, I think they taste better for *sauce.  (*I like fresh tomatoes for things like salsa)


  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 28oz can of whole tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 small pinch crushed red pepper (more if you want some spice)
  1. To make the sauce, start by giving each garlic clove a quick “whack” with the back of your chef’s knife to smash them.
  2. In a medium sized sauce pot, heat the smashed garlic with 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat.
  3. Heat until garlic is brown (but not burnt).
  4. Add the tomatoes (and juice) to the pot.
  5. Add a good amount of salt, pepper (to taste), and crushed red pepper.
  6. Cook approximately 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
  7. Add 3 tablespoons more of olive oil.  Turn heat to medium-high.
  8. At this point, begin to crush the tomatoes in the pot with a wooden spoon.
  9. Once all the tomatoes are crushed, continue to cook approximately 5 more minutes or until the olive oil that you added is red.
  10. The sauce will be a bit chunky.  If you like it smoother, you can pulse it in a blender to the consistency you’re looking for (but may get a bit watery).

Use sauce for pizza, pasta, meatballs, sausages…..or as is served over a nice piece of crusty bread topped with grated Parmesan.



  1. September 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Awesome, Dennis! thanks – this seems so simple. I made something very similar earlier in the summer with fresh tomatoes. I want to try this one next (and prob add some fresh basil since i have tons!!).

    • September 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

      I really think when it comes to sauce, simple is better. And adding basil gives it another level of freshness.

      • September 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm

        Very much agree on the “Simplicity” principle!! Let your fresh ingredients speak for themselves!

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