Rustic Marinara Sauce

Tam D


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

★★★★★ 2 votes
Makes about 8 cups
10 Min
30 Min
Stove Top


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


  • 1In a heavy 3 qt. saucepan, over medium heat, pre-warm the pan and the olive oil, while you're opening the tomato cans.
  • 2Pour 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.
  • 3Blend in the beef or chicken base now. (This is optional for vegetarian)
  • 4Add 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.
  • 5If 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.
  • 6Bring 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.
  • 8This 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.

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About Rustic Marinara Sauce

Course/Dish: Other Sauces
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Hashtags: #Tomato, #meatless, #basic