Best Ever Marinara Sauce


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 8 large tomatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks (I don't bother with peeling)

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons dried basil or 1/2 cup chopped fresh

  • 1 teaspoon oregano or 1/4 cup chopped fresh

  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram or 1/8 cup chopped fresh

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1 hot pepper finely minced

  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

  • Heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes; add tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring the liquid from the tomatoes to a boil, reduce to medium-low, and simmer mixture until tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes.

  • Stir red wine, honey, basil, oregano, marjoram, salt, black pepper, fennel seed, and crushed red pepper (or hot pepper) into the tomato mixture; bring again to a simmer and cook until herbs have flavored the sauce, about 30 minutes more.

  • Stir balsamic vinegar into the sauce.

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