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homemade marinara/gravy/tomato sauce recipe

July 8, 2009

Given the volume of traffic to my chicken parm. recipe post, why not milk the good fortunes with something similar?  Exactly.

As any regular reader can attest, I do take a few shortcuts here and there.  However, when it comes to marinara/gravy/tomato sauce (one’s ethnicity determines the nomenclature…), jarred stuff just doesn’t cut it.  Again, doesn’t cut it.  So please, take a few moments out of your busy day to make something that’s not only tastier and cheaper than the jarred stuff but also better for  you.  Goodbye hard to pronounce ‘food product’, laboratory engineered high fructose corn syrup, and the like.  And, as favorite TV personality Alton Brown would say, it’s seriously good eats.


1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, San Marzano is preferred

1 medium sized onion, diced

4 cloves of minced garlic

2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

5 TBS white wine.  NOTE:  cooking wine is fine.  Really.  Contrary to popular myth, at least in this application, the wine brings out alcohol soluble flavors in the tomato.  In itself, the wine lends little to no flavor, which means thunderbird, mad dog 20/20, cisco, and cooking wine should work just fine.

1 tsp dried Italian spices (dried oregano also works)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

White sugar


Add the onion, red pepper flakes, and extra virgin olive oil to a skillet over medium low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 10 good minutes, occasionally mixing, or until caramelization (the onions start to get brown ) starts.

Mix in the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and dried Italian seasoning and cook for 10 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes (juice too) and white wine and bring to a simmer.  Cover, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the party to a blender and *pulse* until the tomato is broken up.  If you likes chunky tomato sauce return to the pot.  If you likes a smoother tomato sauce blend the hell outta it.

Simmer uncovered over low heat for at least 10 minutes more.  Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.  Depending on the acidity of the tomatoes you may need to add a bit of sugar or agave nectar.

Your marinara/gravy/tomato sauce is now ready to be served over pasta, chicken, or the hood of your car.

Homemade tomato sauce -good on just about anything

Homemade tomato sauce -good on just about anything

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue G permalink
    July 9, 2009 1:48 pm

    I am glad to see a quick,easy and tasty red sauce. The San Marzano tomatoes are the sweetest to use and does not require much sugar to be added.

    Keep up the good work

  2. Michele permalink
    July 12, 2009 8:17 pm

    this was a simple, yet great recipe. Some people may not like the red pepper, but that is easy to take care of. the wine gives the sauce a great flavor.

  3. doug permalink
    July 13, 2009 12:04 am

    you didnt just say mad dog 20/20. i cant believe it. that is too f’ing funny.

  4. July 2, 2011 6:25 am

    Only got some Jack Daniels at hand and I want to make this so it’ll have to do!

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