The homemade marinara sauce recipe come from a friend with an Italian mama! It’s a recipe she’s had in her family for years.
It’s made with simple ingredients but it’s the process that makes all the difference. It starts with caramelized onions, garlic, and then tomatoes and of course, Italian spices. You and you’re family are going to love it!
This is the best marinara sauce recipe I’ve ever tried. By looking at the ingredients you wouldn’t expect it to be that much better than another marinara recipe. For this recipe, it’s all about the process! To begin, you’re going to need to know a little bit about caramelizing onions.
What kind of onions are best to caramelize:
Any onion will caramelize. Use whatever you have on hand. Yellow onions are the easiest to caramelize and red onions are fun because of their deep color. They taste amazing on pizza and salad!
For this recipe, you are going to want to use white onions or yellow onions. They tend to caramelize the best and get that deep golden color.
Kenji López-Alt from Serious Eats found that adding a pinch of baking soda helps onions to caramelize much faster by raising their pH level. Add just a pinch of baking soda to your onions as they are caramelizing.
Why do onions caramelize?
If you really want to nerd out on this process, caramelizing onions is a reaction of breaking down larger sugars into single sugar molecules is what causes sautéed or caramelized onions to brown and develop a sweeter flavor.
By slowly cooking onions, it draws out their natural sweetness as the sugar in them caramelizes. The result is sweet, tender, dark-brown onions that enhance the taste of just about anything, from soups to meats. All you need is oil, onions and a little time.
How to caramelize onions:
You will start by peeling and chopping the onions. If you were to use the caramelized onions on a pizza, sandwich or a buddha bowl, you would want to slice them very thin. I want the caramelized onions to add to the thick and chunky marinara sauce so I chopped them for this recipe.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or enough to coat the bottom of your pan. You could use half butter and half olive oil here but for the marinara, olive oil tastes the best. Heat the oil till it shimmers and add the onions.
Stir the onions so they are all coated in the oil. To get the deep, rich, golden hue, it will take about 20-30 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir the onions occasionally so they don’t stick or burn on the bottom of the pan.
If your heat is too high, the onions will burn. Heat your pan over medium-low, then add your onions. Keep it on that temp for the whole process.
If you love pasta dishes, here are a couple other favorites…
Tips for Making the most amazing homemade Marinara Sauce:
- Be sure to take the time to caramelize the onions before you add the other ingredients. They should reach a golden brown, transparent, VERY soft consistency. This is the secret to the sauce!
- After you add the garlic, make sure it’s golden too. Then you can add all your other ingredients.
- When it comes to this recipe, cooking it
- The longer, the better on this recipe. It can take some time to cook out the raw, tinny flavor of canned tomatoes, and to really develop that rustic depth of flavor.
- Frozen Diced Onions will suffice in a pinch if you don’t have time to chop onions. In my desperation, I have also used Minced Dried Onions and Minced Garlic in a jar. And you know what? No one tasted the difference.
- San Marzano Tomatoes are STRONGLY recommended, but not necessary.
- Freezes very well.
- May be served with Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken Cutlets, Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna, Ravioli or Tortellini, Manicotti or Stuffed Shells, Meatball Subs or as a dipping sauce for your favorite appetizers
The homemade marinara sauce recipe come from a friend with an Italian mama! It's a recipe she's had in her family for years and I knew I had to have it the first time I tasted it! It's made with simple ingredients but it's the process that makes all the difference. It starts with caramelized onions, garlic, and then tomatoes and of course, Italian spices. You and you're family are going to love it!
- 3 Large Onions, diced small
- 4f Cloves Garlic, minced
- 4 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 28 oz Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
- 1/4 Cup Italian Seasoning (or Parsley, Oregano, Basil)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Pepper
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
You will start by peeling and chopping the onions.
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or enough to coat the bottom of your pan. Heat the oil till it shimmers and add the onions.
Stir the onions so they are all coated in the oil. To get the deep, rich, golden hue, it will take about 20 minutes to saute' the onions. Turn the heat to medium low and stir the onions occasionally so they don't stick or burn on the bottom of the pan
Once the onions are caramelized, add the garlic. Saute until the garlic is golden too.
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for a couple hours. Enjoy! Makes about 8 cups of incredible Marinara Sauce!
Are you still hungry?? Check out some other favorites….
Try this amazing Monterey Chicken Recipe
Or a delicious Ham and Veggie Fried Rice
Need something sweet?? Try these Reeses Peanut Butter Bars, oh my!!
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