Tag Archives: marsala

Easy Marinara Sauce

There’s something really comforting about a rich and robust marinara sauce. If you’ve ever made your own or gone to someone’s house that makes their own, the smell can really envelope you. Yet, so often, we are pressed for time and use the pre-made jar stuff, especially since most people think it can take hours to make a good sauce.

My family loves this recipe.  This is one of the few ways my daughter is willing to eat something with tomatoes in it and my husband now finds it hard to enjoy restaurant quality spaghetti and meatballs because of this sauce.

This recipe calls for very little time in the kitchen (it looks like a ton of ingredients, but it’s really a lot of herbs). If you can pre-plan about 45 minutes to an hour before you want to sit down and eat, with only about 10 minutes of hands on time and the occasional check and stir, this is the recipe for you. It’s one of my more versatile recipes. I use it as my pizza sauce, for spaghetti marinara, the tomato sauce to put on top of stuffed bell peppers, meat sauce, meatball subs, and so many other dishes that call for a rich tomato sauce. You can also add in more veggies like chopped mushrooms or bell peppers if you wanted to bulk up on your vegetable intake. It’s also a good one to prep ahead of time as it freezes very well so you can pull it out to use during the week to make a quick dinner!

Hands on time: 10 minutes with some stirring in between.

Total Time:  35-40 minutes.


  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed through a garlic mincer
  • 1 24 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/4  to 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup of dry Marsala wine (or any other dry red wine you may have on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tbsp of dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp of dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp of dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Worcester sauce
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add olive oil
  2. Once olive oil is heated, add in diced onions and some salt (about 1/2 a tsp). Saute until tender (about 5 minutes). You may need to lower your heat if you notice your onions are browning.
  3. Add minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add in all other listed ingredients, about 1/2 tsp more of salt, stir, and lower heat to low or medium low so that the pot maintains a simmer but is not boiling.
  5. Stir the sauce every few minutes
  6. After about 10 to 15 minutes, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  7. Let the sauce continue to cook for about another 10 to 15 minutes or until you feel the flavor has melded nicely.

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