Angela’s Super Easy Marinara


Angela's Super Easy Marinara

This is a stripped down version of my original marinara sauce. It is surprisingly close to Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe! Just a few ingredients and some time is all you need! It is vegetarian; leave out the butter and it is vegan.
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Keyword marinara, vegetarian marinara,
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Author misangela


  • 1 small onion, about 1/3 cup, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 small carrot, microplaned, about 1/4 cup use a box grater's fine side if you don't have a microplane
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tsp dry basil optional, but I like it lurking in the background
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 14oz crushed tomatoes, canned
  • 1 28oz San Marzano tomatoes, whole, canned DO try to find San Marzanos, whole gives a better texture to the sauce
  • 1-2 tsp sugar, to taste, to adjust the acidity
  • 2 Tbl fresh basil, small chop optional
  • 2 Tbl fresh parsley, small chop optional
  • 1 Tbl butter optional, but helps with acidity and mouthfeel


  • In a large 3-4 qt pot over med low heat, add oil, onions, garlic, carrots, pepper flakes and s/p. You want the oil to just barely bubble the onions, not brown them. Low and slow.
  • Let this base cook for about 10 minutes on low, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in the crushed and whole tomatoes, crushing the whole tomatoes by hand.
  • Bring this up to just a minimal bubble. Low and slow. Let it go, stirring occasionally, for about 60 minutes.
  • When the sauce has reduced after the 90 minutes, check it for salt. If the acidity is high (and it likely will be), add sugar until you are happy with the acid level. Make sure the salt is adequate. Add in the chopped herbs and butter (if using) at the end. I like the look of them in the sauce and the little bit of brightness they bring. This is a base sauce, so all you want is just a well balanced sauce bursting with tomato flavour.
  • This sauce freezes very well. It can be used anywhere red sauce is called for.

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