There are two basic types of pasta sauce; one made with meat one without. Marinara sauce has no meat and the typical Italian Sunday Gravy does. Marinara means fisherman's style. When they were out to sea, the sauce without the meat would last longer without spoilage under their storage conditions. This is a basic Marinara that can be used with any dish that requires tomato sauce.


  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 med. onions coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2-3 pounds of fresh plum tomatoes, blanched in boiling water, plunge in cold water and peal under a
  • stream of cold water. Remove seeds and crush by hand in a large bowl.
  • A small handful of fresh basil or 2 clusters
  • A small handful of fresh parsley, remove bottom stem
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper jar prepared in liquid, ( optional )
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (never cook with anything you wouldn't drink)
  • Hot red pepper seeds (optional at serving)
  • Fresh graded cheese (Pecorino Romano or Regianno Parmeggiano)
  • Pasta - your choice


In a deep sauce pan, on the heavy side, add olive oil and heat to med. Add onions half the garlic and simmer until onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes, S&P to taste and bring up to a low boil and then simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Keep stirring from the center of the pan; it will burn if you use a lightweight pan. * Time for a taste test! Are the tomatoes cooked enough? Not everyone's stove or pans are alike. When they are done somewhat al dente (without killing them), add the wine, fresh parsley, the basil and remainder of the garlic and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes or so. ** Time for a 2nd taste test! And do what u gudda do.

Prepare your favorite pasta al dente and toss with some sauce. Garnish with cheese and pepper seeds (optional).

NOTE: * If it does burn a little you may still be able to salvage it by not stirring up the burnt part because the taste will kill the sauce.
** If you put the herbs in too early they will just cook out and you will find yourself adding and adding.

VA R I A T I O N: If you want to make a pizza sauce, replace the parsley, basil and onions with Oregano.

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Submitted 9/28/05.