I am always on the lookout for a good marinara sauce recipe. I love pasta and tomato-based sauces are my favorite. I order it in restaurants, I purchase it in jars and I attempt to make my own. I have made many marinara sauces in my lifetime, but to be honest, haven’t quite found that one balance of ingredients that quenches that savory, tart tomato sauce flavor I hunger for. My palate knows what it likes … it just can’t quite write the recipe down for me. Until now.
This tempting marinara sauce has lured me in and made me a believer that anything is possible. The crushed tomato base takes on the heavenly flavors of onion, carrots, celery and garlic … infusing them into one enticing and appetizing sauce.
Oh, and the aroma alone of this simmering marinara sauce will lure you and the family into the kitchen. Delizioso!
Tempting Marinara Sauce
The veggies are where the flavor comes from in this marinara sauce. Finely chop an onion, 3 peeled carrots, 3 stalks of celery and 2 garlic cloves. Oh, the smells you will smell! Mmmmm … delicious!
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. It will look like a lot of oil, but it is needed. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 8 minutes stirring occasionally until the onions become translucent. Add the carrots and celery to the pan next and sauté for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables become soft.
In a large pot over low heat, pour in the crushed tomatoes and the vegetable mixture. Season with 2 bay leaves and a heaping teaspoonful of basil. You may substitute oregano if you prefer. I’m just a huge basil fan.
Let the sauce simmer on the stove for 1 hour. It will thicken and it will smell delicious! This recipe makes about 2 quarts (8 cups) of marinara sauce. Use immediately or let cool and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Marinara sauce goes perfectly with pasta! It can also be used as a dipping sauce for meatballs, vegetables or crusty breads.
Try it with my Now That’s a Meatball! meatballs over pasta. Yummy!
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves (dried)
- 1 heaping teaspoon basil (dried)
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
- Add the chopped carrots and celery to the onion mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté for another 8 minutes until all the vegetables are softened.
- In a large pot, pour in the crushed tomatoes and add the vegetable mixture.
- Season with bay leaves and basil.
- Let simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken.
- Hunt for, remove and discard the bay leaves. Use immediately or let cool, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis