Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scratch.Love Marinara Sauce

Italians take their marinara sauce (or "gravy" as my Grandmother called it) very seriously. It seems like everyone has their own recipe and they are all different. Some are kept top secret, some are shared with friends or anyone who asks. This is my version and I am happy to share it. This is very similar to the one that my mother makes (which is my favorite of all time!). Homemade sauce is so easy and delicious, there is no comparing homemade to the stuff you get in a jar at the grocery store. It also freezes beautifully so I always keep some in my freezer. Good marinara sauce is key to making other Italian dishes delicious, so do not skip this step if you want fantastic meatballs, lasagna, etc!

Continue reading after the jump...

Scratch.Love Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Large Can (28 oz) Tomato Puree
  • 1 Large Can (28 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Can (28 oz) Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Small Can (6 oz) Tomato Paste
  • 3 Onions
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Carrots (peeled)
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil*
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon White Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
* I know all of you Italians are gasping in horror because I am using coconut oil instead of olive oil in my recipe. I use coconut oil almost exclusively (sometimes butter) when I am cooking with heat. The reason I do this is because coconut oil is stable enough to resist oxidative damage during the heating process. It does not make the sauce taste of coconuts! Undetectable.


Take out all of the vegetables. Dice and set aside.

In a large pot melt the coconut oil. Dice the garlic and add to the pot. Very lightly brown garlic.

Add the onions.

Cook until translucent.

Add the carrots and the celery.

Stir to combine and cook down. You will want to make sure this is cooked well, raw veggies (especially onions) taste bitter in marinara sauce. Measure out the spices.

Add to the vegetable mixture. Combine.

Add the tomato paste and stir. Cook on low for a few more minutes.

Using a measuring cup take out contents of pot. In the blender add a cup of this mixture plus 2 cups of any of the canned tomatoes. Blend until smooth. (Careful, it is warm.) If you would like a chunkier sauce blend until just before smooth.

Add contents back into the pot.

Repeat until everything is smooth. Bring the sauce to a simmer at the lowest setting your stove has.

You could also use a crock pot for this part. Today I am using the stove because I am making a double batch in anticipation of my Christmas cooking. Simmer 4-6 hours (or more! I have been known to sometimes cook this all day or all night) on the lowest setting, stirring occasionally. If it is on the stove top, please take care not to burn it. Burnt sauce = YUK! Below is my sauce at about 5.5 hours.

Add done and ready to eat! You can store this in the fridge for a few days or freeze for future use.

I submitted this recipe to Tuesday Twister and Hearth and Soul, check them out for other great recipes from real food bloggers.

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  1. There is nothing like homemade marinara sauce, I haven't purchased sauce since I discovered how good and simple homemade can be. I have always loved how Italians call it gravy.


  2. I remember a funny story about the "gravy" from my childhood. My mother never called marinara "gravy" we usually just said "spaghetti sauce". My Fathers side calls it gravy. Anyway, we were all at my paternal grandmothers house sitting around the dining room table eating spaghetti. My Grandmother looks over at my older brother and says "Do you want some gravy on that?" He looks kind of surprised, and fearlessly replies "Sure!" imagine his relief when she went to get additional marinara sauce. Ha ha.

  3. What a great story - it is funny how names change within different families. I love homemade marinara - so simple and so worth the time! Thanks for linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  4. MC made some last night.....OMG it was sooooo good!!! We're freezing the rest. We're gonna have your incredible tasting marinara sauce now for a loooong time!!
    Thank you so much! I've always wanted to try some of your homemade Italian food...and now I can :)

  5. Great Clint! I got her text message, I love how she sends me the pictures! I am so happy for you guys! She is really embracing cooking and it is so amazing to see!


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