In my opinion, the best marinara sauce is made with very simple quality ingredients and time. Contrary to most recipes I have seen that take about 30 minutes to prepare, our Marinara Sauce recipe is an all day event that starts with the freshest ingredients and is simmered slowly throughout the day until all the water has evaporated leaving behind a wonderful thick sauce that will stick to pasta and pizzas.
We grow bushels of tomatoes every summer and make our sauce by scoring the tomatoes and blanching them for a minute or two in boiling hot water to loosen the skins, removing the seeds, pureeing the flesh and on occasion, we chop up the flesh depending on what type of sauce we're making. Off season when produce is expensive we use either crushed canned tomatoes which are ready to use or whole tomatoes which are fun to break into our sauce pan by hand.
There are countless recipes for Marinara Sauce with several variations and I personally think you have to play with your ingredients and seasonings to make it your own and in my case, it all depends on what I'm in the mood to use the sauce on the day that I am cooking it.
1 28 oz can of crushed, chopped or whole tomatoes (about 2 pounds if using fresh tomatoes)
2 to 3 smashed garlic cloves
1 medium cooking onion finely chopped
1/8 to 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 or 3 fresh basil leaves (1 tsp dried basil) or 1 tsp dried oregano (fresh if you have it)
1 to 2 springs of fresh parsley (1 tbsp dried parsley)
1 28 oz can of water (using can from canned tomatoes) or substitute water for 2 cups of vegetable or beef broth to intensify the flavour of the sauce
Optional: 1/2 cup white wine, 1 to 2 bay leaves, hard cheese like Parmesan to taste, chili pepper flakes or whole red chili pepper to kick it up a notch
In a saucepan over medium heat sauté onions and garlic until translucent to which you can add 1/2 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Add tomatoes, water, and seasonings and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the lid venting it slightly and check on it from time to time and simmer until all the water has cooked out of the sauce and what is left behind is a thick rich tomato sauce. As the sauce is simmering give it a taste here and there to insure that the flavours have blended well; adjust seasonings to taste. In the event that you find that the tomatoes are too acidic add in a teaspoon of sugar at a time until you reach the right balance or taste. You can even add in a handful of Parmesan to heighten the flavour of your sauce.