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Classic Marinara Sauce
© Frances Janisch

Classic Marinara Sauce

  • ACTIVE: 10 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 40 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 3 cups (enough for 1 pound of pasta)
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

The secret to excellent tomato sauce? According to F&W's Grace Parisi, the trick is starting with superlative whole (not crushed) tomatoes and simmering them with whole (not chopped) garlic cloves. The result: A classic marinara that can quickly be spun into all sorts of variations.

  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  3. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  4. One 35-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with their juices, crushed by hand
  5. Pinch of sugar
  6. 2 basil sprigs
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices. Stir in the sugar and basil, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and is reduced to 3 cups, about 30 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper. Discard the basil sprigs and garlic.
Make Ahead The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
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