Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Easy and Delicious Homemade Marinara Sauce

My super sweet sister made me one of my favorite wedding gifts over 5 1/2 years ago now (where has the time gone?!)

She put together a book of recipes categorized into appetizers, sides, main dishes, and desserts, and filled it with all of our favorite family recipes plus others she had found and loved.

Yeah, she rocks.

Tonight, Matt and I are having 9 of our good friends (and two teachers!) from high school over for dinner. Whenever I'm going to cook for a large group of people (in this case, 11), I like to start my prep work the day before. I usually do my dicing and measuring and make anything that needs to marinate for some time. Then, the day of, I get to feel like a TV chef and just toss in my little ramekins (or in my case, ziplock bags) full of the measured ingredients. It saves me time and makes the day-of cooking more fun. And it maybe makes me feel cool to cook like the TV chefs.

SO, what does this have to do with my sister's awesome wedding gift?! Well, yesterday I made this amazingly delicious family sauce recipe that's inside the cookbook she gave me:

Homemade Marinara Sauce

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. chopped sweet onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 T dried oregano
1 1/4 T dried basil
1 1/4 T salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
2- 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes
2- 28 oz. cans tomato puree
2- 6 oz. cans tomato paste
4 c. water
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Sauté onions in EVOO. Add garlic AFTER onions are sautéed. Add all ingredients except baking soda to onions and bring to a boil. Add baking soda after sauce comes to a boil. Simmer for at least 2 hours before serving. 

I like to mix all of the ingredients together while the onions are sautéing, but you don't have to do this.

But you DO have to buy good tomatoes. Spend a little more- it makes all the difference in the taste!

So what is this sauce going on for tonight's dinner you ask? One of my favorite Italian meals- Stuffed Shells. Mmmm Mmmm! I'm pairing it with Pork Marsala Medallions and Garlic Green Beans. Hopefully it will all turn out well and you might just see the recipes on here next week. :)

For my dad's bolognese sauce recipe (spaghetti meat sauce) click here. It's a little less measured and a little more taste-and-tweak, but still SO good!

Linking up with Ashley and Jessica today for Taste of Tuesday!


  1. I've always wanted to make a homemade marinara sauce, but always end up just buying a jar because it's easy. I need to try this!! Thanks for linking up!

  2. Yum! My sister made me a similar book for my wedding present. ;)

  3. I love a good red sauce. It took me a few times to perfect my recipe. That is so sweet that she put that together for you as a wedding gift.

  4. Oh my gosh I could drink that!!! But alas I can only dream of a yummy marinara sauce. None of my guys really like it.
    Another good reason to chop and prepare as much as possible the day before is, it allows time to enjoy a glass of wine or a tasty IPA while cooking :)

  5. That is a lovely gift...the best thing is, it's personalized! I'm having my sisters and their families over tomorrow night, so I know how you feel! But hey, I LOVE entertaining! :-) Your sauce looks delicious...I'll have to try it!! Thanks so much for linking up today...have a wonderful rest of your week!

  6. I can almost smell that cooking, mm hmm hmmm

  7. that is such a sweet and thoughtful gift!! i love it!
    thank you so much for sending the recipe! i keep saying i want to try (attempt very carefully, lol) to make marinara sauce. i will have to keep this one in mind! :)