Classic Marinara Sauce

Really, nothing could be more simple. You can easily double or triple this recipe and freeze extra and use in any recipe calling for tomato sauce. We love it as a base on pizza, lasagna, ratatouille or eggplant parmesan. But simply served over hot cooked good- quality Italian pasta is the best!


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 4 cups skin-off, pureed Roma tomatoes* or 1 can (28 oz) Italian-style tomatoes, half pureed, half roughly crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb good quality Italian pasta, cooked
  • Freshly chopped basil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  (Make sure you use a large pot.  Water should be 4 times the amount of the pasta.)
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and sauté 2 to 3  minutes, until onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer, taking care not to let the garlic burn.
  3. Add oregano and red pepper flakes, if using; cook 1 minute longer.
  4. Add the pureed and crushed tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  5. Stir in vinegar and butter.  Garnish with fresh basil.


* To remove the skins of the tomatoes, trim top off the ripe tomato then plunge into hot boiling water.  Let stand 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer with a slotted spoon into bowl of cold ice water.  Using your hands, simply slip skins off tomatoes.


Makes 4 to 6 portions

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