We’re Cooking: The Best Homemade Marinara Sauce

As the precious spinach-ricotta dumplings rested a bit before having a quick swim in their bath of boiling salted water the other night, I created a quick, easy and amazingly delicious, rich, roasted tomato marinara with just the slightest touch of spicy heat, a bunch of fresh herbs and an underlying hint of sweet, unexpected spice.  Delicious with the dumplings, as well as slathered onto a plate of angel hair pasta with lots of parmesan cheese and a hint of fresh pasto, and as a dip for garlicy French bread.


Homemade Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 28 ounce cans of whole tomatoes in their juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 sundried tomatoes, cut in half
1 small red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon smoked hot paprika
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to your taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup tomato sauce, like Cento
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup basil leaves, packed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon salt and pepper each + more to taste

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened (about 5-7 minutes, stirring often). Add the garlic, sundried tomatoes and dried herbs. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes then add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes.  Cook for another 2 minutes then add the spices, salt and pepper, tomato sauce, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes adding the fresh herbs the last 5 minutes.  Using an immersion blender or food processor blend the sauce until smooth.  Adjust any final seasonings and keep on simmer until ready to serve.


  1. Hi there, do you in home personal chef services? Your food looks incredible! Interested in a private dinner party for my friends and I on New Years Eve.


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