Monday, August 29, 2011

Sarah's Marinara Sauce: an authentic take on the Italian staple

Delicious homemade marinara is easy and straightforward to make.  Mushrooms and onions add depth to the flavor, while basil, oregano, parsley, and bay leaves create the sweet-sharp-fresh notes that characterize authentic Italian marinara.  I use grated carrot and a sweet white wine like pinot grigio to balance the acidity of the tomatoes.  The result is a complex and richly flavored sauce that is neither too sweet nor too tart, and which can be used in a wide variety of Italian dishes.  I like to make this sauce in a huge batch and store the extra in mason jars for future use.  It keeps for up to two months in an airtight container in the fridge.  


6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced (optional)
(4) 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
(2) 6 oz cans tomato paste
1 cup white wine
1 carrot, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano or small handful fresh leaves, stems discarded
1 tsp dried basil or small handful fresh leaves, thinly sliced
1-2 dried bay leaves
bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped with stems discarded


1.  Heat the olive oil over med-low in a large pot.  Add the onion and mushrooms, and saute until the onions are clear but not brown, 3-4 minutes.

2.  Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and white wine, stirring to fully mix all the ingredients.

3.  Bring the mixture up to a simmer.

4.  Add the carrot, garlic, and all spices, stirring to fully incorporate.

5.  Reduce heat to low and cover.

6.  Simmer covered for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so.  After about 1 hour, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.  Too sweet?  Add a little more oregano.  Too tart?  Add more grated carrot, or add sugar 1 tsp at a time.   Too sharp?  Add a little more basil.

7.  Remove the bay leaves and serve.

No comments:

Post a Comment