Thursday, July 24, 2008

Simple Tomato Sauce

A good simple marinara sauce is always a good thing to have at hand for quick dinners. Yes you could buy a jar of pre-made sauce, but why not give your guests or family a sauce with a little love in it? Make this recipe for tonight's dinner, and save some back for use in Vodka sauce, quick pasta dishes, or chicken or eggplant Parmesan.



  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 4 to 6 basil fresh leaves
  • 2 dried bay leaves, whole
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or less


  1. In a large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, approximately for 2 minutes.
  3. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sauté until all the vegetables are soft, approximately for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine to the vegetables.
  6. Add the tomatoes, oregano, basil leaves, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low.
  7. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until the sauce is thick.
  8. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning.
  9. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time,until you have rounded out the flavor of the sauce.
  10. Pour half of the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor.
  11. Process the sauce until it is smooth.
  12. Add the remaining tomato sauce to the pureed sauce mixture , stir well.
  13. If you are not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely
  14. pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags.
  15. Freeze for up to 6 months.

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