Marinara Sauce

Total Time:
1 hr 20 min
10 min
1 hr 10 min

2 quarts


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 dried bay leaves

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

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    I have only recently used crushed tomatoes for red sauces. I like the consistency of it without it being chunky. This is a very basic recipe which can easily be modified for personal tastes/recipes. Maybe I got lucky with the crushed tomatoes I used because this came out with a very nice rich tomato flavor. I will see if I got lucky. I will make this again using a store brand crushed tomato, instead of the brand I used. I added some browned Italian sausage to make it a meat sauce and was very pleased. I will make this again, making modifications depending on what I am going to use this sauce for. I hope cooking this in a crockpot for 2-3 hours and freezing some will work out good.
    We absolutely love this sauce! It's not traditional, but I add meatballs while cooking. Use fresh pasta and you have a gourmet dish.
    Very Nice, and can be used in many dfferant Dishes.
    With the exception of a marinara sauce recipe given to me by an ex-boyfriend's Italian father (which is outstanding but takes all day to make, this is the best marinara recipe I have come across and it is so easy. You can take it to any level after you have made the basic recipe.....just add the herbs you like best and simmer again before serving. Make sure your crushed tomatoes are of a good quality. Five stars Giada. I love every recipe of yours that I have ever tried!! Keep them coming please.
    Do you have the recipe of your ex-boyfriend's Italian father? I would love to try that one!
    me too!
    Made it by the book. Didn't really love it. Please rethink this recipe Giada. It's a SPAGHETTI sauce, not marinara.
    One star??? If the recipe is good and you really loved it....why only one star? Your reviewing the recipe not what she calls it. And I have been to Italy several times and this IS Marinara sauce.
    What is the difference in the two? I googled and seems no one else knows either. :)
    He said he "didn't really love it."
    This is fantastic for children. I made this recipe as i and used my stick emulsifier, served over hidden veggie spaghetti. My Grandson, Hayden lives on this. Great recipe and simple to prepare.
    Being Italian and spending hours with Grandma (from Rome in the kitchen, this is a great start... But here's a couple tips: First, I grate both the carrots and my PEELED celery. This gives the whole recipe and completely different texture. Second, you MUST deseed the tomatoes. Third, I always add at least a 1/2 to 3/4 of sugar. Easy fix. Great sauce
    My kids prepared this with farm fresh tomatoes. We do not peel or seed, just toss fresh tomatoes into the Vitamix and pulse. The sauce was so bright and flavorful after an hour of cooking. We used it with a 12 oz box of brown rice penne and have enough sauce left to serve over sauteed green beans or asparagus. My kids are very impressed with their sauce. We plan to make several more batches while tomatoes are in season and load up our freezer. We will add fresh basil to some of the batches as well.
    This recipe is an excellent base for an AMAZING marinara sauce. After simmering for 10 minutes, I added 1/2 tsp of dried Italian herbs, another 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Texturized Soy Protein (TSP directly into the sauce for the 'gnaw' effect. I used organic baby carrots since that's what I had in the fridge, and they added a lovely, subtle sweetness to the sauce. Adding sugar (as some suggest wasn't necessary, and I think it's because of the sweetness of the baby carrots. The TSP absorbed some of the moisture, but not enough to require the addition of water. Overall, I think this recipe provides a great base that people to experiment, and I'm forever grateful to Giada.
    I used 30 ounces tomato sauce, 15 ounces crushed tomatoes with a cup water, rather than all crushed tomatoes, then added sweet sausage and fresh basil. My whole family loved it!
    Loved it! Is a very basic sauce, which is what it is supposed to be. This is the base in which you build other sauces. Definitely works better if you buy tinned whole tomatoes and de-seed them yourself before pulsing in a blender. Gets the bitterness out from the seeds not being in the sauce. I'm using it to make the Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata sauce tonight for my parents!
    Not a fan of this one. Sauce turned out very sweet but very bland even with added herbs and spices. The majority ended up going in the trash. It was that bad.
    This has got to be one of the easiest receipes for marinara I have ever made. If your sauce is bitter then you need to use better tomatoes. You get what you pay for : Thanks Giada!!!
    I always use this recipe anytime I make something that calls for marinara, and it is always well received. Sometimes it outshines the rest of the dish it is so good. If you think that it is too bitter or acidic you probably needed to add more carrot, or mince the carrot more finely to incorporate it better.
    I thought this was a great sauce when I didn't have any ready-made. I cut the recipe in HALF though, since I was making it for my husband & I. I did think it was a bit acidic when I did a quick taste test while it was simmering, so I added 2 tsp. sugar. I also added dried basil, 1/4 tsp. while the veggies were cooking, and another 1/4 the last 10 minutes of simmering. My husband also approved & said it was "yummy"!
    This was at best mediocre, if you want something that is quick (this only takes an hour and has a real acidity tomato taste then this the recipe for you. I won't make it again.........
    I know why there are some people who love this and hate it. When I made this the first time, I swear, I used damn near 6 or 7 T's in this recipe to combat the intense bitterness.The reason why some people are getting really good marinara or real icky are bc of the tomato seeds. I was complaining to my hubby about all the sugar I had to add and he reminded me of an AB episode where Alton talks about making your own tomato sauce or marinara (can't remember which one and that Alton likes to use whole tomato's and then de-seeds them because the seeds make the sauce bitter. I imagine that some crushed tomato brands have either none or MANY less seeds obviously changing the taste. Next time I will get the crushed tomato's shipped at my grocery store from Italy or go the AB way and just de-seed canned whole tomato's, crush them manually and then use an immersion blender when the recipe is done. 
    This is a great recipe! I put roasted carrots and garlic in the last ten minutes instead of cooking them from raw from the beginning for deeper flavor and next time am considering fire roasting some red bell peppers to add into the mix. For those who complained about the thickness, I pulsed the sauce in my blender to where there was still great texture to it but came out much thinner. Also wanted to share that we make the most incredible sauce for our homemade lasagna by combining this marinara sauce with Alton Brown's Bolognese sauce recipe...sure it's an all day project, but when I go to the effort of making the whole thing from scratch why not make it extra special ;
    2 32oz. cans of crushed tomatoes 
    1 6oz. can of tomato paste 
    2 celery stalks finely chopped 
    4 cloves of garlic finely chopped 
    2 small onions finely chopped 
    1/2 a cup of extra virgin olive oil 
    1 teaspoon of parsley  
    1 teaspoon of rosemary (heaping 
    1 and 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt 
    1 and 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper 
    1 teaspoon of sugar 
    5 fresh basil leaves broken by hand 
    Freshly grated romano cheese 
    In a large pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. 
    Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes. 
    Add the celery, salt and pepper. 
    Saute until celery is soft (about 10 minutes. 
    Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, freshly grated romano cheese, sugar and basil. 
    Let simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens 
    (about an hour to an hour and a half, stirring every so often.
    Too thick. Too bitter. Added spices and sugar but still not even as good as that yucky bottled sauce.
    Next best thing to having an Italian grandma.
    Almost tasteless.
     I've made this several times, at first thinking that technique, or ingredient variances, were the problem. But after four, or five, times of making this, solely due to the number of five star ratings, it's time to call it a day with this recipe.
     A store bought jar marinara beats this one.
    This is soooo close to my Greek mother-in-law's red saltza that we loved for years, but for which we never could get the recipe. No problem as this one is right there with it. The celery and carrots add a nice heartiness The bay leaves also add a touch of earthy flavor and the result is a wonderful marinara far different than you'll get a a restaurant and most certainly beyond anything in a jar at the store. Two thumbs up from every member of my family!
    I LOVE Giada and I loved this recipe! Super easy. We only made a few changes:  
    4 cloves of garlic instead of 2 
    fresh basil (3 medium sized leaves 
    a pinch of crushed red pepper. 
    The flavor was absolutely perfect! This recipe is a keeper for us. 
    I didn't really care for how the marinara turned out, it lacked flavor. I even added fresh herbs like basil and oregano which helped the flavor alot but not sure if I will try this one again.
    Eh, just okay. I think the carrots kill it for me. Adds a sweetness I'm not crazy about. This is probably the one and only time I can say my own recipe is better than Giada's.
    Wow! I wasnt sure about adding carrots and celery but my god it was delicious. I did however use the emulsion blender and purreed them with a little bit of the sauce then i threw in the rest of the tomato sauce. It was amazing and simple. Perfect for my little vegetarian. Next time im going to try to throw in some ground italian seasoned turkey. Love Giada!
    Oh my goodness! This marinara sauce is the absolute best. My one change is to add ground beef with the vegetables.
    Very Much like my northern Italian born mother-n-law's recipe. Delicioso!
    I loved this recipe. I did make some additions based on the comments. My additions were; 1 teaspoon each of basil, thyme, parsley and oregano. Plus 1 tablespoon sugar. My Husband loved it. I have been looking for a good authentic marinara recipe. The one I have been using for the last few years was far too heavy on the herbs. I like this one so much better.
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