Marinara Sauce

This is my go-to marinara sauce. I make it in large batches at a time and freeze a few ziplock bags and/or containers with about 3 cups or 1 quart capacity. It’s a great base sauce in which to add meat, veggies, herbs etc.. to make it different each time or it’s great on it’s own with pasta, in dishes like lasagna or my eggplant parmesan.

Many people put carrots in their marinara but I don’t. If you prefer to add it by all means do so.  I also only use San Marzano tomatoes. Some argue that the taste is no better than other tomatoes but hey, it’s my sauce and I do taste a difference so I use them:)  If you don’t want to you don’t have to but I ask you to try it at least once-and make sure you get the San Marzanos from Italy. Those famous cans with the white backgrounds and purple and/or red tomatoes on the outside aren’t from Italy-they’re from Jersey. Read the labels.  Spend a little extra for the best quality that you can get.


Marinara Sauce


  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 6 medium sized garlic cloves
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 28-32oz cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes (or peeled and crush with a potato masher)
  • 4 bay leaves


  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat add the olive oil. When it’s hot add the onion and garlic and saute until they’re translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and saute until they’re soft, about another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for between 1 and 3 hours.

If you’re going to package up the sauce for use at another time leave it out to cool. 

Note: if you’re using peeled plum tomatoes you can crush them with the potato masher after you’ve added them to the pot.  Crush as much or as little as you like.



Fresh Tomato Sauce

While I was out on the East End this past Sunday with my Mom and Grandma we stopped at Harbes Family Farm which is one of the many farmstands along the wine trail. I picked up a few beautiful tomatoes and a pumpkin.  I wanted to make some sauce using a few of the tomatoes so I looked through my fridge and cabinets to see what I could add to those sweet, wonderful smelling tomatoes.  The outcome was a fresh sauce that just bursts with amazing tomato flavor. It was easy to make and was absolutely delicious.

Fresh Tomato Sauce


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • a few slices of onion (I used some red onion that I had left over but any will work)
  • artichoke hearts-a few good heaping spoonfulls, chopped
  • large green olives, pitted and chopped-I used 4 but you could use more or less
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • basil leaf-ripped into small pieces
  • 1/2 lb capellini
  • a few grates of parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot add garlic and sautee until golden and fragrant. Add onion, olives and artichokes and cook until they start to soften-just a few minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Bring to a good steadybubble then reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally until tomatoes are soft and can be smashed with a wooden spoon in the pan.
  2. Add cheese, cook for another minute or two and then serve spooned over the pasta.

Makes 2 servings. original