This recipe is for a very basic marinara sauce done in a large batch style. It can stand alone as a dipping sauce (it’s quite thick), serve as a red pizza sauce base, sauce for lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant and chicken parmesan, etc.
I like to make a very large batch and freeze it in quart size deli containers. I typically use tomatoes from my garden either fresh, or frozen whole and thawed. When home grown tomatoes are not available, canned tomatoes such as San Marzano whole peeled can be used.
In this recipe I omit Oregano, which may surprise some. I find that it is very strong and can easily overpower the sauce, so I add it later, when I am using the sauce for dishes that are complimented by it.
This recipe is designed to be able to be reduced b 1/2 or 1/3 of the amounts here to allow for smaller batches with the same flavor.
12 Cups Whole Tomatoes, peeled (fresh, frozen or canned)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
6 Cups Yellow Onion, diced
1 1/2 Cups Carrot, diced
1 1/2 Cups Celery, diced
1 1/2 Cups Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
2 Shallots, diced
6 Garlic cloves, minced
4 Bay Leaves, Whole
1 Cup torn Sweet Basil leaves
1 Tablespoon Rosemary leaves, fresh removed from stem
1/2 Cup Italian Parsley, rough chopped
12 oz. Tomato Paste
1 Tablespooon Salt
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat until warmed.
- Add onion, carrot, celery, peppers, and shallots.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables begin to brown and release sugars.
- Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent over browning of vegetables.
- When garlic is soft, add remaining ingredients to the pot.
- Continue to cook over medium heat until sauce begins to boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and allow sauce to cook for at least 2 hours until carrots are of a consistence that they can be mashed and the tomatoes are completely cooked.
- Remove from heat and remove bay leaves from sauce. Allow sauce to cool.
- Using an immersion blender, food processor or regular blender, puree the cooked vegetables into a smooth sauce. For a chunkier sauce, just pulse a few times with the blender you are using.