Making a red sauce from scratch might seem intimidating but it really is a simple process. The key to a good red sauce is time. Allowing everything to simmer long enough for the flavors to really meld and build is extremely important. I’ve heard of some Italian recipes that require you to simmer you sauce all night. I have yet to try doing this (in a crock pot) but it’s on the “to-try” list!
This is one of the best marinara sauces I’ve ever tasted. I love using wine, a bit of heat and the balsamic to add depth to this sauce. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
1 (28-ounce) can Plum Tomatoes or San Marzano, crushed
1/2 cup red wine, Chianti preferred
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 large sprig fresh basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
dash of garlic powder
dash of onion powder
dash of paprika
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
dash of salt and pepper, to taste
dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar (to cut down acidity)
Mushrooms, bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium/low heat. Toss in onions and red pepper (if using) and salt. Saute until onions begin to sweat. Add in any optional vegetables.
When onions are translucent, add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Pour in the wine and turn up the heat to boil off any alcohol. Add the tomatoes, remaining seasonings, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh basil sprig, cover and let simmer on very low for 30-60 minutes. Stir your sauce occasionally or it will stick to the bottom of your pot. Remove the basil stem and serve with your favorite pasta or with crusty bread.