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Homemade Marinara Sauce

I found the most wonderful recipe last week for marinara sauce. Now, I don't always have time to make mine from scratch (the store-bought-jar does it's duty just fine), but occasionally there are some "slow-days-around-the-house" and I have a bit more time to spend on dinner. Tomorrow, I'll be sharing the recipe I prepared this sauce for, but today I wanted the marinara sauce to have it's own spotlight.

I couldn't believe what incredible vapors this beautiful sauce filled my house with. The fresh herbs slowly simmered away in a pool of fragrant garlic and onion, smothered in fresh sweet tomatoes. This recipe actually calls for 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, but I only had 1 28oz can on hand. Thankfully, I had 4 ripe tomatoes lying around... I threw them in the food processor in a flash, and added them right into the heavenly mixture.

This sauce would be absolutely perfect on your lasagna, spaghetti, manicotti, pizza, dipping sauce for crusty bread ... heck, anything.


Homemade Marinara Sauce

two 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (or 8 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped and slightly pureed)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz can tomato paste (I added a teeny bit of sugar to counterbalance the acidity)
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1/2 T dried oregano
2 medium bay leaves, chopped
1 T brown sugar
2 T balsamic vinegar (thanks to Ruth, mine was straight from Italy!)
salt and pepper 

In a large pot, heat EVOO over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Cook until slightly golden brown (don't burn the garlic). Add the rest of the ingredients (crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar) to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on medium/low for one hour - covered (leave the lid on pot, but slightly ajar to allow steam to escape).

After about a half hour, do a little taste test, and adjust seasonings to your liking. Use sauce with your lasagne, manicotti, spaghetti, or anything that requires a red sauce.

*recipe adapted from Budget Bytes 

linking up here.


  1. Looks great. I have an old-faithful marinara sauce I use that is very similar to this (and when i have i on hand I add some red wine, too- the hubs loves that!). Found you through the Whole Foods blog carnival, thanks for sharing!

    1. MmmmmMMmmm. The wine addition sounds beautiful! (as long as we cook it down enough so there's no alcohol - we are feeding a little one, too, after all :) Thanks for visiting!

  2. I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop:

  3. I look forward to trying this with fresh tomatoes when ours ripen! :)

  4. Wow, it looks & sounds delish. What is EVOO?

    Warmly, Michelle

  5. EVOO is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    Please check out my meatball recipe.


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