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Classic Marinara Sauce

Classic Marinara Sauce

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  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 5 minutes; stir in basil. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go; season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

  • Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

Recipe by Palizzi Social Club, Philadelphia, PAReviews SectionI love this recipe for its simplicity and versatility. I've made it several times now as a basic marinara with tortellini or as base for vodka sauce with penne or combined with meat sauce with spaghetti. Some version of this sauce is generally in my refrigerator most of the time.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • One 35-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 basil sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic.

Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce Recipe

How to make Authentic Marinara Sauce from canned tomatoes. This version of our homemade marinara sauce from scratch makes a delicious chunky--style sauce.

Servings: 12-16


½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 small onion, diced small
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
2 28-32 ounce cans San Marzano or high quality canned crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped


In a deep pan or sauce pot, heat extra virgin olive oil.

Sautee garlic and onion until onion is translucent.

Add salt, pepper, and dried oregano.

Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil.

Lower heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. The longer you simmer, the thicker it will be.

Stir in basil and you’re done! I told you it was an easy marinara sauce!

How to make smooth Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

To make a smooth marinara sauce, you have 2 choices. You don’t need a separate smooth marinara sauce recipe. It just takes a couple of adjustments to the authentic Italian marinara recipe above.
1. Blend the onions before sautéing.
2. Blend the tomatoes before adding them to the sauce, or substitute tomato puree for crushes tomatoes.

Ingredients to make marinara sauce from scratch.

How to make Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce with fresh tomatoes

Use the recipe above and substitute 2 quarts of fresh, diced, seeded tomatoes. I prefer not to take the skin off, so I usually blend the tomatoes before adding them to the pot. I also find this version needs an additional 10 minutes of simmering time.

How to use Authentic Italian Marinara Sauce

This Authentic marinara sauce recipe can be used for any recipe that calls for classic Italian marinara sauce or tomato sauce. Use it on our Chicken Parm Panini (your new favorite sandwich) or Best-Ever Italian Turkey Meatballs as well as on any pasta or pizza!

Best Italian Marinara Sauce Recipe

Easy, chunky, creamy, rustic, hearty, flavorful marinara sauce or as known in America “Sunday Gravy” , is made at home with a few ingredients and a little patience. This is so good you’ll never be able to buy it in a jar. Gotta make your own kids!

The secret to the classic Italian sauce, lies in slowly simmering the tomatoes with onion, basil and garlic until thick and reduced and the natural sugars have concentrated their flavors. So thick you can literally use it as a pizza sauce as I do of course.

There is no heavy cream, no wine and no anchovies in an authentic marinara sauce.

It is a simple vegan and vegetarian sauce that you can serve with spaghetti and ricotta meatballs , clams and mussels , shrimp, chicken parmesan , ricotta gnocchi, peppercorn steak , mushrooms, eggplant, ravioli, veggie lasagna or whatever your favorite pasta is. Even perfect for dipping your cheese sticks!

Classic Marinara Sauce - Recipes

Classic Marinara Sauce VEG
This sauce works well with any type of pasta. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, give it just three or four pulses in the food processor in step 4.

2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
⅓ cup dry red wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper

1. Drain tomatoes in fine-mesh strainer set over large bowl. Using hands, open tomatoes and remove and discard seeds and fibrous cores let tomatoes drain, about 5 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup tomatoes separately. Reserve 2½ cups drained tomato juice discard extra juice.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in remaining drained tomatoes and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to brown and stick to pan, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Stir in wine and cook until thick and syrupy, about 1 minute. Stir in reserved tomato juice, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Transfer sauce to food processor, add reserved ¾ cup tomatoes, and pulse until slightly chunky, about 8 pulses. Return sauce to now-empty skillet, stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. When tossing sauce with cooked pasta, add some pasta cooking water as needed to adjust consistency.

Classic Marinara Sauce Recipe

This fabulous classic marinara sauce recipe will have you thinking up more ways to use it! It's so easy and quick, leaving you plenty of time to cook up some mozzarella sticks or any of your favorite foods to dip. We also love to use this marinara sauce as the base for our pizza sauce, just blitzed to a nice smooth consistency and a few additional ingredients (mainly tomato paste and fennel).

To get started: we blitzed half of our fire roasted diced tomatoes (1 can - do not drain off tomato juice) in a food processor or nutribullet and minced the garlic.

Rich and flavorful classic Marinara Sauce

Next, heat a large skillet and extra virgin olive oil heated to a medium temperature.

When the oil is hot, add minced garlic and let it start to sizzle and take on a caramel coloring but do not let it brown (about 1-2 minutes).

Add 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes and the blended can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Then add the seasoning: oregano, Italian seasoning, basil and red pepper flakes.

Once the marinara sauce is bubbling, reduce heat and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.

Once the sauce has simmered for ten minutes, taste and add salt if needed or desired. Continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until the oil on the marinara sauce surface is a deep orange in color.

The method of making Sicilian marinara sauce?

It’s a super quick marinara sauce recipe that can be made in thirty minutes or less! It’s a timeless staple in many Italian recipes. This sauce is extremely versatile, It can be used on pasta, pizza, or just as a classic dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks.

To begin, mash-up whole San Marzano tomatoes into a chunky sauce. Save the empty can to swirl around one cup of water to gather any remaining juice. Then, we will sliver (a fancy chef term which means to slice very thinly) seven cloves of garlic.

To make the sauce, heat up olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic (being careful not to brown). Once aromatic, add the tomato sauce, water, and salt into the pan. Bring the mixture up to a simmer. Then add two leaves of basil and submerge in the sauce. Cook for fifteen minutes, and then season to taste and enjoy!

*This post contains affiliate links which will give me a small commision if you decide to purchase anything using my referral code.*

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  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until it begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant. Stir in the wine. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook until reduced by at least one-third, about 2 hours. Stir occasionally, taking care that the sauce never boils hard. Stir in the basil and parsley. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Puttanesca Sauce: Make the basic recipe. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 5 chopped anchovy fillets and cook, stirring, until they begin to dissolve. Add the basic sauce and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1/3 cup drained capers, 1/2 cup pitted and chopped black olives, and 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste.

Porcini Sauce: Make the basic recipe. Soak 2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms in hot water to cover until soft, about 25 minutes. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of the soaking liquid. Squeeze the mushrooms dry, chop them, and add them to the basic sauce. Strain the reserved porcini soaking liquid though a coffee filter and add it to the sauce. Simmer until thick and not at all watery, 15 to 25 minutes.

New York Times CLASSIC Marinara Sauce (Sugo alla marinara)

I love the New York Times! I can actually remember the first time I read the New York Times, it was 1983 and I was 12 years old. I had just finished the book “It’s not the end of the world” by Judy Blume and the side character Val talked about how she would read the New York Times the whole way through every Sunday. I walked across the street to the public library on a Saturday and sat at the table and flipped through the whole thing! I could not see myself ever reading it all the way through on a regular basis but it did intrigued me and I have loved it ever since.

While I don’t read it all the way through, I love to flip from section to section reading whatever catches my eye. It is so easy to read now with the app. NYTimes has also come out with a Cooking app that is AMAZING. I use it first if I am looking for inspiration.

I do read the Dining & Wine section in its entirety religiously though. There is so much to learn! I love to try and find new recipes, or new foods. I love to learn new kitchen skills.

A few years ago in the NY Times an article and corresponding recipe for the “Classic Marinara Sauce” was posted. It seemed so simple. I couldn’t believe how few ingredients it called for or that it didn’t need to simmer all day. It went against everything I had ever done when I made homemade red sauce. The history of it was fascinating and so was the simplicity of the whole recipe. I knew what we would be having for dinner the next night!

We had it the very next day for supper and it immediately became part of our weekly go to quick menu ideas. For you Lochlan it did not make you sick – most jarred pasta sauces never sit right with you and for you Bryson it was the perfect quick recipe for to make in your University apartment.

This is better and faster than going out for fast-food and can be used to make so many different dishes, from the simple sauce and pasta noodles, pizza, chicken parmesan to meatball subs.


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