Michele’s Masterful Marinara

Michele’s Masterful Marinara Sauce

The staple sauce which my wife has spent 20+ years perfecting is here and it’s for you to try. I can’t come close to reproducing this either in overall taste or consistency. Lately she has modified the meatballs to use ground turkey and it works (yah it does). I’ll update the recipie soon to include this new derivation. She makes enough at once to freeze a quart or two and also add meatballs and sausage although that’s optional for you.


  •  1 large yellow or sweet onion diced Couple of mushrooms, any type, chopped fine
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced
  • 2-4 TBL spoons of freshly chopped and smashed garlic.
  • 1 cup of carrots chopped fine for some sweetness to all the acid in the sauce
  • Spices: (based on dried spices, if you use fresh multiply by 4) tsp of basil tsp of oregano tbl spoon of parsley tbl spoon of granulated garlic or 4 tbl spoons of freshly diced and smashed. 4 tbl spoons of Italian seasoning 1-2 tsp of black pepper (freshly grounded of course, you do know in a short time pepper flakes lose their potency and flavor)
  • Tsp or more depending on your tastes of kosher salt.
  • 6 oz can of good tomato paste 12 oz cold water 3 14.5 oz cans of whole tomatoes preferably San Marzanono (the less processing the company does the better).
  • 4 tbl spoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Putting it all together making the sauce of your life:

Use a standard deep pan or sauce pan capable of holding 4 quarts, or bring out the crock pot. Most crock pots can come out of their heating element and be placed on the stove for the first part of this preparation.

  • Heat the pot to medium high
  • add the EVOO Add the onions cook for 2 minutes
  • Add the mushroom, pepper, garlic, carrots and a pinch of salt, saute until slightly browned and caramelized (5 min)
  • Toss in the spices let cook for a minute or two until they bloom and you can smell them
  • Drop heat to medium Add tomato paste and water into separate bowl and whisk together.
  • At this point you can use a boat motor (ok, not a boat motor but an immersion blender) to blend the mixture together. You can also use your blender for this.
  • Pour paste/water combo into sauce pan and cook for two minutes
  • Add the crushed tomatoes to the mixture stir and adjust heat to a slight simmer.
  • If you are using the crock pot method this is when you move the pot into its heating element set on high
  • Simmer for 1 hour then lower heat to low setting, just enough heat to keep some slight movement in the mixture.
  • Cook at this level stirring occasionally for 2-4 hours. If you want to make the sauce faster substitute chicken stock for the water added above on item 8, this will give the sauce the all day cooking taste.

That’s it, stir, taste, add seasoning as the sauce combines to the perfect taste…