Marinara sauce is an essential in any Italian pantry and so easy to make at home. With is recipe you can always have a top quality sauce at hand and never rely on a jar again. The finished sauce largely depends upon the quality of canned tomato one uses. I strictly use peeled San Marzano tomatoes imported from Campania Italy; not San Marzano style. The San Marzano variety has a thicker flesh and fewer seeds than the standard Roma tomato. Authentic San Marzano tomatoes will have a DOP emblem on a the label, identifying them as being genuine as designated by the Italian Government or European Union.
With the basic recipe below and the right ingredients you will have a flavorful marinara sauce on hand to accompany a quick pasta, egg, fish, chicken or whatever dish you like.
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced into halves
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 28 ounce can of San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
- Large spring of fresh basil
- Heat the olive oil in a small to medium sized heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic halves and allow them to sizzle for 5 minutes. Watch carefully, you may need to turn the heat to low. The garlic is to become lightly golden, not at all dark; sautéed garlic can go from lightly golden to burned rather quickly, if this should happen, throw out the contents of the pan and start again.
- Add the can of San Marzano tomatoes, lightly rinse the tomato residue in the can with a small amount of fresh water then add this to the saucepan. Adjust the heat to medium low, add the spring of fresh basil.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. You will notice that the tomato will appear richer and separate somewhat from the olive oil. Remove the basis and sliced garlic, taste and season with salt if you so desire. Reserve in either the refrigerator or freezer for later use.