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Marinara Sauce for Pasta

From "Cooking for Comfort" by Marian Burros
/ Source: TODAY

Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 very large onion (12 ounces or more), chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5 cups canned plum tomatoes with their juice, pureed in a food processor
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, oregano, and basil
  • Hot red pepper flakes, optional

DIRECTIONS Heat the olive oil in a deep pot. Sauté the onion over medium-high heat until it softens and takes on color. Add the garlic and watch carefully while it browns.

Bring water to a boil for the pasta in a covered pot.

Add the tomatoes and the salt and pepper to taste to the onion and garlic mixture and simmer over medium-high heat until the sauce bubbles; reduce the heat and cook 20 to 30 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Add the herbs to the sauce and cook another 5 minutes. Add hot pepper flakes, if desired.

Serve over the drained pasta.

VARIATIONS- To cook fish in the sauce, add 1/3 cup dry red or white wine for every cup of sauce, then add the fish and poach it in the sauce.

- Sauté 3/4 pound of sliced mushrooms in the same pan as the onion after the onion has softened.

- Add olives, capers, and/or anchovies in step 3.

- Broil 2 sweet or hot Italian sausages; slice and add to the sauce in step 3.

- You can use the sauce over breaded foods, like eggplant or chicken Parmesan or breaded veal.

Zinfandel, Côtes du Rhône, Shiraz, Sangiovese, or Pinot Noir

TIPThis can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen for a month.