Homemade Marinara Sauce

This is a great all purpose sauce. If fresh tomatoes aren’t available you can use a 28 ounce can of whole Italian tomatoes. You may need to substitute dried herbs as well; just use 1/3rd of the amount. Of course, nothing beats fresh ingredients, but it’s not always summer time. I frequently sauté mushrooms, zucchini, and/or bell pepper along with the onion to make Vegetable Marinara.

2 1/2 lbs fresh plum or Roma tomatoes, peeled and cored
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, diced
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 dash red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp sugar

1. Remove the seeds from the fresh tomatoes into a wire strainer set over a bowl. Discard the seeds and reserve the juice. Tear the tomatoes into the bowl in rough chunks. You should have about 4 cups. If using canned Italian tomatoes, pour them into a large bowl and break up with a potato masher, sturdy fork, or your clean hands and add 3/4 cup water.
2. In a wide sauce pan over medium heat, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft. Season with the salt and black pepper, then add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook for ten minutes. Remove cover, stir in herbs and sugar, and cook uncovered another twenty minutes or more, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick. Remove the bay leaf.

Tip: If the sauce seems to have an acidic taste stir in just a pinch of baking soda.

Servings: 6

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