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Hadley's Marinara Sauce

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

This hearty sauce has such a nice depth of flavor and rich texture. The ingredients are really simple but somehow the flavor profile is so fantastic! This sauce pairs well with red meat of any kind and does well with a longer pasta like spaghetti or fettucine. This sauce freezes well and can be thawed later to enjoy!

Let's do it! I don't like four pages of bologna before my recipes...

Serves: 4-6 people Time: Approx. 30-40 mins.


2 cans of San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 white onion diced

6-8 cloves of garlic, measured with love. Grated or minced super fine.

3 level tbsp of Italian seasoning blend (salt free)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp red chili flake

2 level tbsp basil

2 tbsp sugar

Salt and pepper

2-3 level tbsp tomato paste (start with two, if it's not *strong* enough, add more.

3/4 cup red wine, I used a dark red blend. Anything you can drink. Pour yourself a glass too, 21 and over.

--Hardware: a potato masher or something to smash with, get your aggression out. :)

**NOTE** With dry herbs, which is what I used, please know that you may need to adjust by adding a bit more, for example, I started with 1 tbsp of Italian seasoning only to find it wasn't strong enough near the end so I added more.


Start by chopping your onion and mincing your garlic. Coat a large pot with olive oil and set to medium heat. Once the oil begins to ripple, add in your onion and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté. As the onion starts to get golden, add in your garlic and lower the heat a bit, add in your herbs and spices and allow to mix with the onions. After about a minute or two add in your 3/4 cup wine and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Add in your tomato paste, again start with two tablespoons of tomato paste. Dissolve gently into your wine.

Open up your San Marzanos, gently dump in one can of tomatoes and mash them with either your masher or a spoon. Mash them really good, get them to dissolve as much as possible. Pour in the second can and repeat. At this point you have a fair amount of sauce. Add in your sugar. Allow to simmer in the pot for 5 minutes with the lid on and then mix well and taste.

Taste it well, does it need a bit more salt? Is it not tomato-ey enough? Adjust, you may need to add some paste, and I would dissolve it first by ladling some sauce into a small bowl and thinning it in the bowl and putting it back into the sauce. Is it too acidic? You may need to add a touch more sugar, or if you don't seem to taste that signature "italian sauce" flavor, add some more italian seasoning and/or basil :) You got this!

After adjusting, lid back on and turn to medium/low and let simmer gently for 10 more minutes. You want the heat low, it should just be barely bubbling, almost a whisper. After simmering, stir well, one final taste and serve!

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