Marinara Sauce1

Marinara Sauce

While you can use fresh tomatoes, blanching to remove the skins takes a bit of time and hassle that some people don’t want to bother with. But don’t fear – canned tomatoes produce an equally tasty sauce!

For sauces where you want a chunkier texture, choose diced canned tomatoes, as they contain more calcium chloride which is added by the manufacturer to maintain the tomatoes firmness. In contrast, whole tomatoes will contain less calcium chloride, thereby breaking down into a smoother sauce.

Why add sugar? Tomatoes are quite acidic, and that acidity can dampen the tomatoes own natural rich flavor (or the other ingredients in your dish). Adding just a bit of sugar is all that is needed to balance everything perfectly.

Marinara Sauce1

Marinara Sauce1

Marinara Sauce

Marla Hingley
Rich tomato sauce perfect for all your pasta recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 6


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup onions finely chopped
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 lg can whole tomatoes drained (approx. 2 cups)
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp GF beef bouillon omit for Vegetarian
  • 1 tsp GF Worcestershire sauce omit for Vegetarian
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • For added thickness and vitamins add some vegetable purées: try 1/4 cup carrot puree + 1/4 cup red pepper purée (click here to learn how to make purees), optional
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil torn (to serve)*


  • In a large Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.
  • Crush whole tomatoes with hands (removing hard core) and place in pan with remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.
  • Stir occasionally, allowing to simmer for 15-30 minutes.
  • For a smoother sauce, remove bay leaf then run sauce through a food processor or immersion blender.
  • When ready to serve, stir in fresh basil and toss with your favorite GF pasta.


Because fresh basil will lose its flavor (and color) the longer it's cooked, we use dried during the cooking process then stir in the fresh basil just before serving for an added boost of flavor.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
See also
Bechamel (White) Sauce

 [hr]FAQ: Is Red Wine Gluten Free?

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