This hearty Marinara Sauce Recipe is the most perfectly balanced sauce. It's an easy recipe with amazing flavor and chunky texture. Technically referred to as Mom's Sunday Gravy, this red sauce is perfect for a delicious dinner if you're making chicken parmesan or pasta night!
You'll only need a handful of simple ingredients. Please take a look at the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact measurements.
- tomato paste
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- red wine
- fresh basil
- bay leaf
- sugar, salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder
This is an overview. For detailed instructions scroll down to the bottom to the recipe card!
- 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.
No time to cook or simmer this on the stove?
- After adding all the ingredients, place the Dutch oven 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.
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Catsup seems like a quick and easy substitute if you do not have tomato paste, but it's much more watery than paste. It's not a good substitute.
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.
Things to know
When you do make this, trust me - you're going to want to make a double batch.
Bonus? It freezes great! And it's so good you'll never want to use the jarred version again!
Refrigerate - allow the sauce to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to three days.
Freeze - Leftover sauce freezes great. Store in an air-tight container or even a ziplock bag. I love using those because they stack so well in the freezer. Freeze up to three months.
You can serve it with pasta, parmesan cheese with some torn basil. You can simmer it with meatballs, or sauce up Chicken Cacciatore - it a sweet, well balanced sauce.
Perfect sauce for homemade Lasagna. Use it for pizza sauce, dipping sauce and of course your favorite pasta sauce.
Be sure to leave a comment below and tell me what you think of this recipe, I’d love a five star rating!!
AND if you make it, be sure to tag me @bowl_me_over or #bowlmeover
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
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- 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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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!
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!