A Basic Marinara – The Way We Do It


2 T dried, minced onion, reconstituted with warm water for at least 10 minutes*(optional)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 – 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes OR 2 – 28 oz. cans of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand with juice
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped fine (make a chiffonade)


  1. Add oil to a pan and heat over medium heat.
    2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, just until beginning to soften, stir in the garlic and cook for another 3 min.
    3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20-30 mins.
    4. Remove the chunks of garlic. Stir in the chopped basil leaves at the end and serve over hot pasta.

The beauty of the Marinara is that it is the basic red sauce from which many of the others are made. If you don’t want onion, leave it out. By all means, use fresh onion if you like. (*I have a severe intolerance to raw/under cooked onion, so I don’t usually cook with fresh onion, I just use the dried ones.) Add other spices – oregano, for instance, or red pepper for some heat, we often do – to vary your sauce, and add other items such as Italian sausage or ground beef or some beautiful mushrooms. The options are practically endless.


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