Why is there something so romantic about tomato sauce? This Pasta sauce can be marinara perfect for dipping or the perfect pizza sauce. There is something so comforting to me about knowing exactly whats in my tomato sauce instead of buying the super sugary kind from the grocery store. I’ve actually tried to do this recipe the old fashioned way where you buy fresh tomatoes and steam peel them…SO not worth the hassle. This recipe is EASY (however, it takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to bake in the oven.) Most of the cook time is totally hands off and there is not a candle in the world that will make your house smell better or more inviting.
I start my sauce in the pan on the stove (oven proof with a tight fitting lid), then transfer it to the oven to bake which concentrates the flavor making it taste like its been simmering for hours and hours. Because we puree the sauce in a blender after its baked, you dont need to stress about getting the onions chopped perfectly or smashing the tomatoes entirely. This recipe makes a TON of sauce and I keep mine in small portions in the freezer for easy thawing. Add it to any pasta, pizza or any of my recipes for the perfect meal.
PRO TIP: yes, the alcohol from the wine evaporates, but that means the flavor of the wine is more intensely concentrated. DON’T use a wine you wouldnt drink yourself. I use my favorite cabernet (shown below) which rings in at about 8 bucks, you dont have to be fancy.
When you reheat the sauce, you can add a few splashes of heavy cream to make a beautiful tomato cream sauce. You can add some browned Italian sausage for the perfect meat sauce, or you can keep it beautifully plain and simple and stir in some fresh parsley and basil.
- 1/4 cup good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large white onion, chopped roughly
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (gives the sauce the slightest bit of heat in the back of your throat, NOT spicy but you can omit if you want.)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 28 ounce cans peeled whole San Marzano tomatoes (I pour in the entire can, juice too.)
- 1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher salt
Recipe: Makes about 6 cups of sauce
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a LARGE, deep oven proof skillet (I use a 12-13 inch skillet with a metal handle and a tight fitting lid.) Heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add your onions and garlic and saute for 5-6 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
- Add the red pepper flakes and oregano and stir, cooking for one more minute. Pour in your red wine and stir, letting the wine bubble gently and simmer for 5-7 minutes until the liquid has reduced by about half.
- Add in both cans of tomatoes, including juice. Use a potato masher or a large spoon to gently mash and break up the tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Add salt and pepper, stir to combine and cover the pan with a tight lid. Place the entire pan in the oven to bake on 375 for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- When the baking is done, CAREFULLY remove the pan from the oven and place on the counter to cool slightly. Remove the lid and allow the sauce to cool for 10 minutes.
- After the sauce has cooled slightly, ladle half into a blender and puree until smooth. It’s incredibly important not to try and puree the entire batch at once because hot foods expand in the blender and it could cause a huge mess. Once you’ve blended the entire batch of sauce, serve it up over hot pasta, keep in the fridge for a few days or go ahead and freeze in gallon bags or airtight tupperware so that its ready for your recipes.
I hope making this recipe makes you feel proud, empowered and just the tiniest bit italian. Enjoy!