Quick Marinara

Another favorite Tomato Sauce, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. This sauce has body, but the blending eliminates too many “chunky” pieces – something that always seems to be a turn off to children. It’s zesty and full bodied and the wine is wonderful.

Cook's Illustrated Quick Marinara

Cook’s Illustrated Quick Marinara

Best of all, it’s fast and fresh tasting, due to a few tomatoes left out of the cooking process and blended back in.

Make sure to find a use for the left over juices from the tomatoes that aren’t used in the recipe – you’ll have a cup to a cup and a half. Maybe freeze for meat loaf, soups, etc. or doctor up for a Bloody or Virgin Mary.

Quick Marinara

Quick Marinara

Quick Marinara

  • Servings: makes abt 6 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes packed in juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine, such as Chianti or Merlot
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or one tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar, if desired

Pour tomatoes and juice into strainer set over large bowl. Open tomatoes with hands and remove and discard cores, let tomatoes drain excess liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove 3/4 cup tomatoes from strainer and set aside. Reserve 2 1/2 cups tomato juice.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and golden around edges, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook, 30 seconds.  If using dried basil, add it now.

Add tomatoes from strainer and increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring every minute, until liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to stick to bottom of pan, 10-12 minutes. Add wine and cook until thick and syrupy, about 1 minute. Add reserved tomato juice and bring to simmer; reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is thick, 8-10 minutes.

Transfer sauce to food processor and add reserved tomatoes, process until slightly chunky. Return sauce to skillet and add basil and extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper and sugar to taste.

from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read Strategies for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.

Put your Own Spin on It:

Feel free to go heavier or lighter on the spicing – we sometimes add a few red pepper flakes.


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