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Basic Tomato Sauce (Marinara Sauce)

Makes about 2-1/2 cups

This recipe is for a quick and easy Italian tomato sauce that can be used with a variety of dishes. Make it instead of your favorite bottled marinara sauce. The amount can be adjusted as needed. The herbs used depend on the dish the sauce accompanies. For pasta, I usually add a combination of dried herbs when cooking, then I finish the dish with fresh herbs, such as basil and parsley, as in the rigatoni in the similar and related recipes links.

Tomato Sauce Recipe Photo

When I make a batch to store for future uses, I use just a few dried herbs and add more when reheating to complement the dish that I am serving.


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and sauté until softened, but not browned. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, wine, herbs, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat until liquid has reduced, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (The amount of reduction depends on the desired thickness of the sauce. If storing for later use, it can be reduced at that time.) Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired.

Notes: The sauce can be refrigerated for up to five days. It can also be made in large quantities and stored in the freezer for up to one year or canned. See the similar and related recipes for canning instructions.