Favorite Homemade Marinara Sauce

marinara sauce recipeOne of the best things about having a home garden is growing tomatoes. And one of the best things about growing tomatoes is canning them to use later in the year. I am too lazy to can whole tomatoes, but happily put up jars and jars of fresh tomato puree. (See how to can your own puree here.) Sadly, I used the last of 2012’s tomato puree the other night. But it was turned into the best marinara sauce you’ll ever taste, with fresh tomato flavor accented with herbs and vegetables.  We enjoyed it with rigatoni, steamed zucchini, and freshly grated Romano cheese. Sorry about the photo, we dug in before remembering to take a picture!


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • 3/4 cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 3 quarts (or 28 oz. cans) tomato puree
  • 3 Tbsp capers
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Aleppo red pepper and sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped, dried tomatoes (See how to make your own this year here.)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute leek and garlic until soft but not browned. Add all remaining ingredients and cook over low heat until flavors are well mingled, about 1 hour. Do not overcook, as the excess heat will turn the tomato flavor from sweet to bitter and overly processed.

Cook desired pasta as directed on package. Drain and combine with enough sauce to cover. Let warm pasta sit for a few minutes to soak up the sauce. Serve with additional sauce, steamed zucchini or broccoli, and shredded cheese.

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

April 11, 2013

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