I’ve made many tomato-based sauces over the years but this is hands down the best marinara I’ve ever made. This recipe, which I adapted from Cookinglight.com, makes a rich, intense killer sauce. The difference is that it’s baked in the oven rather than simmered over the stove. Full disclosure, I did use my husband’s award winning tomatoes but you’ll still get a delicious sauce using any high quality fresh or canned tomato (like canned San Marzano tomatoes). The preparation is super easy. The only downside to making this sauce is that it takes 5-6 hours to bake in the oven so plan accordingly.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
7 lb. fresh tomatoes, chopped* or 3 (28-ounce) canned San Marzano tomatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cooking until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes to the onion mixture. Stir in sugar, salt, oregano, and soy sauce. Bring mixture to a simmer. Place in the oven and bake, uncovered, for 5-6 hours. Stir occasionally. Remove from the oven. Stir in the basil, being sure to scrape the browned bits from sides of pot.
*The CookingLight recipe calls for blanching the fresh tomatoes in order to remove the skin. I used the entire tomato. If you want a smoother sauce, you can blend it in the food processor after the sauce cools.