Marinara Sauce

From John Sgammato

This is a meatless red sauce.


  • some olive oil

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 clove garlic

  • a splash of Chianti or other dry red wine (what you are having with dinner is fine).

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 can tomato puree

  • some dried basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley


Note: Do not use un-enameled cast iron - the acid tomato sauce will absorb some of the iron and turn an unsightly black around the edges.


To prepare:

  1. Start the olive oil over medium heat in an enameled cast iron, glass, or stainless steel pot.

  2. Dice the onion and start to saute it in the olive oil.

  3. Mince the garlic. When the onion is almost golden-translucent, add the minced garlic and stir well. Some people like to add a pork chop here.

  4. When the garlic is starting to brown, splash the Chianti in to slow the cooking.  Stir well.

  5. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Some people like to add tomato paste as well (for color), but I find it makes the sauce too acid.  

  6. Bring to a good simmer and stir again. Do not boil, just simmer gently.

  7. Sprinkle top of simmering sauce with basil until it is about 50% covered. Then do the same with oregano until the whole surface is covered with the two herbs. Sprinkle in a little rosemary. Stir well.

  8. Simmer at least an hour, tasting frequently, until it is no longer acidic and the flavors are coming together nicely. Add parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.