This easy authentic Italian Marinara Sauce recipe is made from canned tomatoes and is a million times better than anything you can buy at the store!
Every Italian – and well, plenty of non Italians too – has their own way of making homemade tomato sauce. And I say sauce, because that’s what it is. Gravy is for turkey. 😉
Of course I say that in jest, as this is a debate heard almost daily where I live in New Jersey. My family actually calls it sugu, which is our American slang for the Italian word “sugo” that means sauce. Sugu, sugo, marinara, sauce, gravy… I don’t really care what you call it. What we can all agree on is that it’s delicious, and every home cook – Italian or not – should know how to make it from scratch.
Why open up a jar of sauce when it’s so easy to make it from scratch? If you watch my video, you’ll see just how simple it is. Contrary to popular belief, a proper tomato sauce doesn’t need to simmer on the stove all day. Really, a good 20-30 minutes is all it needs. I always opt to use canned tomatoes, as opposed to fresh, when I make my sauce. I make a sauce out of fresh tomatoes when they’re ripe in the summer, but it has a completely different taste and feel. Canned tomatoes are available year round and are always consistent in both flavor and texture. Because they’re picked at their peak of ripeness, canned tomatoes are always packed with flavor and nutrition. And, believe it or not, the lycopene in canned tomatoes is actually more bioavailable than in fresh.
This easy authentic Italian Marinara Sauce recipe is made from canned tomatoes and is a million times better than anything you can buy at the store! Toss it with pasta, use it for chicken or eggplant parmesan, use it to top your pizza or as a base for tomato soup!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ small onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- kosher salt, to taste
- pinch of red chili flakes
- 1 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- pinch of sugar (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic along with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes, then cook for about 2 minutes more.
- Add the canned tomatoes, then use a wooden spoon to smash and break them into pieces. Add a bay leaf and tomato paste if using, along with about ½ – 1 cup of water, depending on the consistency of your tomatoes and how thick you want your sauce.
- Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and a pinch of sugar if it tastes very acidic (the sugar will mellow the acid and balance the flavor, not make it sweet).
- The sauce is ready to use!
Keywords: easy, tomato, marinara, sauce, gravy, sugo, Italian, sicilian, canned tomatoes, authentic