Classic Marinara

I always have marinara sauce in my freezer, frozen in 2-cup containers. On nights when I have no inspiration to cook (which happens often!), it is an instant supper added to pasta and meatballs. It’s also wonderful to have on hand for any dish that calls for tomato sauce. We use it for eggplant or chicken Parmesan  chili, stuffed peppers, lasagna, minestrone, baked ziti and so on. I make this recipe in triple batches in my stock pot every few months. The trick? To avoid dried basil. An Italian friend once spit out my marinara because it had dried basil in it. After regaining her composure, she gently informed me that every Italian she knew put fresh basil (or no basil) in their marinara. You know what? She was right. It makes all the difference.

Classic Marinara

1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil
half a large onion, chopped
2 quarts of canned tomatoes (or 2 – 14.5 oz cans of crushed tomatoes)
1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste
2 gloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon of dried)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1  sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent – do not let them brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the wine and stir well. At this point, I use my immersion blender to blend the sauce but if you prefer it chunky, leave it as is. The marinara keeps well in the freezer for up to 6 months. Add a handful of chopped fresh basil to the sauce whenever you serve it, if you prefer. Enjoy!

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