Once you make this sauce, you may not want to buy jarred marinara sauce ever again! I know, that’s a big statement but this sauce is really that good and only a few ingredients.
You can double up the recipe and make a big batch to store portions in your freezer then you’ll have marinara sauce on hand at all times when needed. I enjoy this over pasta, with hasselback potatoes, used as a pizza sauce, as a warm dip, with some roast vegetables stirred through and served with rice…it is an incredibly versatile sauce.
The tomatoes which I use in the sauce I have only discovered recently and they are delicious. They are more expensive than other brands, however, when the tomatoes are the main component as they are in this recipe, I believe paying a bit more to get a delicious dish is totally worth it. For dishes like my vegetarian chilli I use a cheaper brand as the tomatoes aren’t the star of that dish – I hope that makes sense!
Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and lycopene (this gives the tomatoes their vibrant colour) which is a carotenoid; a fat-soluble nutrient. Lycopene can help lower inflammation in the body and boost immunity and unlike most nutrients, lycopene content increases when the tomatoes are cooked.
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 medium onion, peeled & diced
-2 cloves of garlic, peeled & roughly chopped
-1 tsp. dried oregano
-2 x 400ml tin of good quality plum tomatoes (I use Strianese brand)
-5 or 6 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
-salt & pepper to taste
-extra basil leaves for serving (optional)
How To Make
Place a medium-sized saute pan over a medium heat and warm the oil.
Once the oil is warm add the diced onion and cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
Once onions have started to soften, add the garlic and oregano and cook for a further 3 minutes until fragrant.
Next, add the tomatoes and crush gently with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, season with salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce has cooked and is lovely and thick, remove the heat and stir in the basil leaves and leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
I like to blend my sauce but this isn’t an essential step.
Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust if necessary, top with torn fresh basil leaves, if using, just before serving.
This sauce stores really well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer.