I began making my own tomato sauces in high school and quickly realized that the flavors of store-bought sauces are no match for a freshly made marinara! What’s even better, these sauces are very simple to make. We make very large batches over the summer and can quart-sized jars to eat over the winter. However, the great thing is you can quickly whip together some sauce, even if it’s just for one meal.
Anytime you can prepare something at home, the nutritional value will be greater, you can choose how much sodium and spice to add, and you can choose fresh, organic ingredients. Also, store-bought sauces almost always add sugar (like most processed foods). This is completely unnecessary as the tomatoes provide their own flavor and sweetness. Sugar and excessive salt are used when the ingredients are poor, but real, fresh foods provide tons of flavor just waiting to be enjoyed!
For a twist on this basic recipe, you can also add additional vegetables such as celery, carrots, or fresh spinach.
Tomato Basil Marinara
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 10 roma tomatoes about 6 cups, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. Himalayan or sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh oregano chopped (may substitute) 1 tbsp. dry
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- Heat a large skillet or medium pot over medium heat. Heat olive oil along with the pan.
- Dice the onion and add to pan when it is heated. Sauté for 5 minutes until browned.
- Mince the garlic and dice tomatoes. Stir in minced garlic followed immediately by the diced tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan. Add in the bay leaf.
- Allow the tomatoes to return to a simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.
- Add in herbs and reduce heat slightly to a lower simmer. Cover but leave lid cracked. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes (longer if doing multiple batches), stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and sauce has thickened.
- Turn off heat, remove the bay leaf, and stir in the Olive Oil. Use an immersion blender or stand blender to blend the sauce to desired texture. Eat, can, or freeze within 1 week.