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fresh tomato marinara sauce with basil leaves in grey bowl

Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

  • Author: Melissa Riker
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: sauce
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Fresh tomato marinara sauce is the perfect recipe to use up all those tomatoes from your summer garden. With the perfect amount of flavor, you’ll want to double or triple this recipe to freeze for the winter!


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 8 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


  1. In a large stockpot heat the oil, then add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes and garlic and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add red wine, brown sugar, basil, oregano, salt, bay leaf, and red pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook an additional 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar. Season to taste.


  • To easily remove tomato skin dunk into boiling water then into a bowl of ice water, skins should slip right off.
  • This recipe freezes well, allow to cool then pour into an airtight container.
  • For a smoother sauce, pulse tomatoes in a food processor or blender before cooking.
  • For a thicker sauce add a can of tomato paste before the final simmer.
  • For a chunkier sauce add mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, or other veggies of your choice.

Keywords: marinara, fresh tomato