This recipe for Marinara Sauce is a perfectly balanced red sauce. It's easy to make with amazing flavor! And trust me, it doesn't get any better than this! Technically referred to as Mom's Sunday Gravy this red sauce is specifically to stew rich meats in, allowing them to simmer on the stove or in the oven all day long! This post has been updated from August 24, 2017 to improve reader experience.
I'm taking you on a trip around the world today! We're going to Italy today but first we're making a stop along the way to see my friend Michelle! 🇮🇹 You see Michelle gave me this recipe for Marinara Sauce several years ago!
When I originally shared this recipe it was with this fabulous recipe for Bracioli but since then I've made it with everything under the sun because it's an easy sauce with the most amazing flavor!
You can serve it like we did last night, with pasta, parmesan cheese with some torn basil. You can simmer it with meatballs, or sauce up Chicken Cacciatore - it a deliciously sweet, well balanced sauce! A perfect sauce for homemade Lasagna.
Recipe for Marinara Sauce Grocery List
- tomato paste
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- red wine
- fresh basil
- bay leaf
- sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder
How do you make homemade marinara sauce?
- Chop the onion and mincing garlic
- Sauté in olive oil.
- After about 5 minutes add tomato paste and water.
- Simmer this and as it thickens it will become a rich base and concentrates the onion and garlic flavors!
- Then you'll add the remaining ingredients - crushed tomatoes, red wine, basil, chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Finish by allowing it to simmer on the stove.
What is the difference between marinara sauce and spaghetti sauce?
- Spaghetti Sauce is deep and complex in flavor and usually smooth and silky. Marinara Sauce is thick and chunky and often a quicker sauce to make. Often using basil, red pepper flakes and even fresh tomatoes.
When you do make this, trust me - you're going to want to make a double batch because in the next few weeks I'm going to show you how to make several dishes using this amazing sauce!
Bonus? It freezes great! And it's so good you'll never want to use the jarred version again!
Can I use ketchup in place of tomato paste?
- Catsup seems like a quick and easy substitute if you do not have tomato paste, but it's much more watery than paste and though it might seem like a good substitute, I'm going to recommend you run to the store to pick some up for this recipe.
No time to cook simmer this on the stove?
- After you've added all of the ingredients, tuck it into the oven at 250 for 1 ½ hours.
- Another option is (again after you've added all of the ingredients) pour everything into the slow cooker. Turn on low and allow it to cook all day long!
What is Sunday Gravy?
Sunday Gravy is a red sauce made specifically to stew rich meats in. The flavor is balanced and complete.
More delicious meal to enjoy using this sauce!
That's it, it's so simple! My meals are usually quick and easy meals, but the flavor in this comfort-food-meal can't be duplicated!
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Recipe for Marinara Sauce
Recipe for Marinara Sauce
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 3 cups water
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes*
- ½ cup fresh basil or if using dried substitute with 2 tablespoons dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tablespoons sugar sugar sweetens the acid in the tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Begin by dicing the onion and mince the garlic.
- In a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons good olive oil.
- When it's lightly browned - about five minutes - add the tomato paste and 3 cups water. Increase the heat to high. Stir together well, bring to a boil then reduce to medium low.
- Simmer for twenty minutes on medium low heat, stirring frequently. This makes a rich base and concentrates the onion/garlic flavors.
- Next add the remaining ingredients; 1 can of crushed tomatoes, the fresh or dried basil, bay leaf, sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, red wine & garlic powder.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until well blended. Simmer on the stove for 1 ½ hours. Adjust seasonings to your taste.
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This recipe for Marinara Sauce is from my Italian friend Michelle - I'm so honored that she has shared this amazing recipe with me! Here's another note *From Michelle - Italian women shake the cans. If the tomatoes slosh around, they keep checking until they find one that doesn't slosh because the cans are fuller. This is probably a myth, but it's a fun thing to do!