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  • Writer's pictureAmy L Smith Photography

Marinara Sauce

Pasta and red sauce is a favorite, no matter the sauce or type of pasta, really. I mean, come on, it's pasta...but this sauce is one of my very favorites and worth the little bit of time it takes to make. I promise, your pasta nights will be that much better because of it.


1/2 of a large onion, rough chopped or small dice, your personal preference

3-4 cloves of garlic, again, rough chopped or small dice

1-2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp sugar

2-3 tsp of ground, dried oregano

1 generous Tbsp red chili flakes (more or less for your taste)

4 28 ounce cans of whole, peeled tomatoes (san marzano are the best in my opinion, but really, any will do)

salt to taste

In a large dutch oven or pot, add oil, onion and garlic. Saute for several minutes until onions are translucent - be careful not to burn this, as the garlic will become bitter. Once the onions are wilted and translucent, add the tomatoes. I like to use my hands to break up the tomatoes as I add them to the pot. They will continue to break down during cooking, but this helps a lot to get that process started.

Add the sugar, oregano and chili flakes and let the whole pot simmer on low/medium low for an hour or so, stirring frequently, breaking down the tomatoes further until you get the desired consistency you're after.

If you find it to be too thin/watery, leave the lid off so that it can reduce a little quicker. I often leave mine on low for a couple hours to let it thicken up and really let those flavors develop.

Also, if you like a really smooth sauce, you certainly can (carefully) transfer it to a blender or use an immersion blender to make it as smooth as you like.

The sauce will keep well in the fridge just like any other sauce, and it also freezes very well. I often make a large batch and have several containers in the freezer for a quick, home cooked meal that comes together easy-peasy.

Garnish with fresh basil, some cheese and enjoy!

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