Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

rustic marinara sauce

★★★★★ 2
a recipe by
Tam D
The Dalles, OR

This is just your basic homemade marinara sauce. I call this one rustic because it's chunky, rather than smooth.

★★★★★ 2
serves Makes about 8 cups
prep time 10 Min
cook time 30 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For rustic marinara sauce

  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 28 oz
    can tomato puree
  • 2 tsp
    beef or chicken base or bouillon (optional)
  • 2 - 15 oz
    cans italian style stewed tomatoes, diced or sliced
  • 2 Tbsp
    dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp
    dried minced garlic
  • 2 tsp
    dried basil, crushed in hand
  • 2 tsp
    dried ground fennel
  • 1 tsp
    dried thyme, crushed in hand
  • 1 tsp
    dried rosemary, crushed in hand
  • 1/2 tsp
    dried oregano, crushed in hand
  • 1 tsp
    kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp
    fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 c
    good burgundy wine
  • 1/2 c
    water or stock
  • mushrooms (optional)

How To Make rustic marinara sauce

  • 1
    In a heavy 3 qt. saucepan, over medium heat, pre-warm the pan and the olive oil, while you're opening the tomato cans.
  • 2
    Pour the tomato puree into the hot olive oil, and let it "fry" for a minute, stirring occasionally. You'll be surprised how much richness this little extra step adds to your sauce.
  • 3
    Blend in the beef or chicken base now. (This is optional for vegetarian)
  • 4
    Add the onion, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. The amounts given are approximate; use more or less to your taste. Allow the puree and seasoning to bubble together for a minute. Then stir in the stewed tomatoes* and the wine. (You can leave out the wine, but don't!) Swish the water around in the cans to get all the tomato-goodness, and add the water to the pot.
  • 5
    If you like to add mushrooms and/or other vegetables to your sauce, add them here. We're Italian purists ;) so we don't add anything to our sauce.
  • 6
    Bring sauce to a soft boil, then cover, and reduce the heat to medium low or low. Allow the sauce to simmer a minimum of 30 minutes. (I prefer an hour).
  • 7
    *NOTES: The diced stewed tomatoes are much nicer, but if what I have on hand is the thick-sliced style I prefer to break them up in hand as they go into the pot, so we don't end up with huge chunks of tomato.
  • 8
    This recipe makes a double batch, enough for two casseroles (like my meatball sandwich casserole), or to serve a crowd. I like to work smart, so I make enough that I can put half in the frig or freezer for a quick-fix meal later.