The Best Marinara Sauce
I developed this recipe with a friend to make the most of a bumper crop of tomatoes. Now, we like to make huge batches—we’re talking 220 pounds of tomatoes huge—and then give jars as gifts along with a pound of pasta around the holidays. Knowing this sauce is made from the heart with the best possible ingredients makes me feel good about giving it to my family and friends. —Shannon Norris, Cudahy, Wisconsin
Total TimePrep: 1 hour + simmering Process: 40 min.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/3 cup minced garlic, divided
- 12 pounds plum tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cups water
- 1-1/4 cups minced fresh basil, divided
- 1/4 cup minced fresh oregano
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- In a stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add tomatoes, water and 1/2 cup basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until tomatoes are completely broken down and soft, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Press tomato mixture through a food mill into a large bowl; discard skins and seeds. Return tomato mixture to stockpot; add 1/2 cup of remaining basil, oregano and remaining garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, 3-1/2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and remaining 1/4 cup of basil; season with salt and pepper.
- Add 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice to each of 3 hot 1-1/2-pint jars. Ladle hot mixture into jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
- Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 40 minutes. Remove jars and cool.
Test Kitchen Tips
Nutrition Facts3/4 cup: 131 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 348mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 6g fiber), 5g protein. Diabetic exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.
Originally published as The Best Marinara Sauce in Taste of Home August/September 2019