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The "Ever-So-Versatile" Marinara Sauce

Updated on January 16, 2015

Great Sauce! Easy to make!

5 stars from 1 rating of Marinara Sauce

Good to Know

Making this sauce is great because for the majority of the time, other than checking in on it to stir once in a while, it basically cooks itself. Once it really starts to cook down and becomes your sauce, then you need to pay closer attention to it. And of course you can always make this ahead of time and serve it the next day or freeze it to serve at a later time. Great to have on hand for last minute lunch or dinner ideas. Nobody I know complains about eating too much pasta!

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour 45 min
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: Approx. 4 cups of sauce


  • 1-12 oz.can Tomato paste
  • 8 cups Water
  • 1 tbs. Dry Basil, or 8 fresh leaves
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup White wine
  • 1 tbs. Dry Italian Herbs Blend
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin OIive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Onions

Ready To Cook!

  1. Cover the bottom of the saucepan with olive oil and turn it on medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onions and cook until they reach a golden color. Stir and be careful not to let them brown.
  3. Add the can of tomato paste and start to break it up with your spoon. Add the water and turn up the heat to high. (One trademark step in making Italian sauce is to rinse out the can of tomato paste with water and add it to the pan to ensure you have utilized every last drop) Continue to stir to help break up the tomato paste.
  4. Add the white wine, salt, pepper, sugar, basil, dry seasonings, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium and cover loosely. Because cooking times and temperatures vary due to the variance in electric versus gas, you may need to increase the temperature. It should be softly bubbling, but not to the point where you take the lid off and you are getting covered in splashes of sauce.
  6. Once the sauce is cooking a comfortable temperature, you can leave it alone. Check in on it about 1/2 hour after the start of cook time and then another 1/2 after that. After about an hour, you should see it cooking down and not so watery.
  7. After the full hour and a half, it should look thicker and now would be a good time to taste test it. Like I always say, you should never plan to serve something you didn't taste first. You may want to tweak it with more salt or more pepper or more sugar. A little more wine never hurt any sauce either!
  8. For the finale, you will have a deep, red, robust sauce full of flavor and ready to accompany any dish. If you see it is not thick enough, cook it a little more, but be careful-once the sauce is in its' last stage of cooking, it can easily burn on the bottom, so you will need to stay close by and stir more frequently. You may want to lower the temperature too-to help prevent it from burning.
  9. Enjoy your wonderful homemade sauce-easy to make-a delight to serve and a great staple to add your recipe collection! Buon appetito!

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