Growing up in an Italian home meant never eating tomato sauce out of a jar. Ever. It wasn’t until a 6th grade girl scout camping trip when I tasted my first spaghetti and “Ragu” and it was an experience I would never forget. Unfortunately, I proceeded to get completely sick after I ate the foreign sauce and my mother had to come pick me up. Since then I’ve always had a thing against jarred.
homemade marinara (tomato) sauce
makes about 5 cups
¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced or 2 28-ounce containers of chopped tomatoes, such as Pomi
1 7-ounce jar of tomato paste (optional, for a richer, thicker sauce)
Sea salt to taste
A small handful of fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced*
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté gently until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
- Add the tomatoes and tomato paste with 2 generous pinches of sea salt and bring to a simmer. Cover the sauce, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Puree about half the sauce with an immersion blender or pass through a food mill. (You can also blend half the sauce in a blender or food processor. Put the sauce back into the saucepan.)
- Add the basil and simmer for another 5 minutes or longer, if you have the time. Taste and adjust seasoning.
*If fresh basil isn’t available, you can add a few dashes of dried basil and dried oregano.