You will need the following ingredients to make this Marinara Sauce recipe:
- Two 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes in juice
- 1 bunch of Fresh basil
- ½ cup extra-virgin Olive oil
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Be sure to get both the onion and garlic chopped before you turn on the stove.
Peel and mince 4 cloves of garlic. That’s a lot of garlic, but it does get cooked, so it’s not going to be too strong.
Fresh basil is essential for this recipe. Nowadays, most grocery store carry fresh basil year-round. You can wash it the same way you wash lettuce. Pull the leaves off the stem and throw the stems away.
Put the basil and the canned tomatoes, with their juice, in a blender and puree everything until almost smooth. Set the tomato-basil puree aside.
(As I filled the blender I thought, YIKES, this is way too full! With my hand pressed firmly on the lid of the blender I pressed the puree button. I was very lucky that my kitchen did not end up covered in tomato sauce. Next time I would puree this mixture in two batches!)
Heat ½ cup of olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
That does sound like a ton of oil, but believe me it works. It gives the sauce a full, rich flavor.
Add the onions and garlic and cook until very tender, about 12 minutes.
The onions should not get browned. This is what they should look like after 12 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and basil that you pureed in the blender and 1 teaspoon of oregano plus 1 teaspoon of sugar. (Don’t skip the sugar. It helps balance the acid in the tomatoes.)
Bring the sauce to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and continue simmering until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. This will take about 10 minutes.
Give the sauce a taste. You may need to add about ½ -1 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of fresh pepper.
The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. If you are storing it for future use, cool the sauce, then cover and refrigerate it. Gently re-heat sauce over medium heat before using it.
If you are going to be freezing this sauce, use small containers that would be enough for 1-2 serving.
Be sure to spray your plastic containers with cooking spray first so they don’t get stained by the tomato sauce.
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