I think I’ve made Marinara Sauce hundreds of times for so many different occasions, and it never fails that people want the recipe. Funny thing is, I don’t have a recipe. Growing up around Sicilian women in the kitchen, each with their special slant on different sauces and dishes, somehow made it’s way into my blood. But you didn’t have to grow up that way to make a fantastic, quick and fresh sauce that will have people falling in love with your food — and maybe you, too! I’m not kidding, this will only take you about 20 minutes.
Garlic Girl’s Marinara Sauce
a couple tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cans imported (from Italy) whole, peeled tomatoes
about 12 cloves garlic chopped finely or crushed
1 medium onion
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 fresh basil – you can substitute dry for herbs (but then use much less)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
kosher salt and ground fresh black pepper
Cover bottom of large fry pan with olive oil. On medium heat, saute the onions for a few minutes until a little translucent. Sprinkle some of the basil and parsley on top of the onions.
Important step: drizzel some of the sauce (about 1/8 cup) from the can of the whole tomatoes into the pan – you’ll hear a nice sizzle and all the aromas will start kicking up. THEN add the garlic. I do this because I don’t like when the garlic overcooks. Pouring in a little of the sauce (not the tomatoes) also helps marry all the flavors of the herbs together before you add the whole tomatoes.
After about a minute or two, add the wine — then the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, and the rest of the herbs. Let everything simmer for about 10 minutes before you start crushing the tomatoes in the pan.
Get a wooden spoon and taste it. If it tastes too tangy, add a bit more sugar. And just season to your taste. I love it tangy, so I always go a bit heavier on the salt, and less sugar.
After simmering another 10 minutes, you are done!
Toss with any kind of pasta. This is a light, impressive sauce that has so much flavor that you don’t need a lot. I always toss the sauce throughout the pasta, and then put the sauce in a serving bowl so that folks who like more sauce can add it. I just made this yesterday and included a photo of the pasta (and the sauce above). I tossed it with the sauce, and then spooned some sauce on the top, sprinkled with Pecorino Romano cheese and fresh parley. Yum!
This, served with a summer salad – butter lettuce, tomato and cucumbers – tossed with lemon, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper is a winner. And always, a little fresh bread on the side, too!