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Easiest Marinara Sauce

Makes about 3 cups
Time 1 hr 10 min
Making your own versatile, totally fresh tomato sauce from scratch is simpler than you might imagine. Our four-ingredient recipe calls for vine-ripe tomatoes plus a few other kitchen staples, resulting in a delicious sauce you customize any way you like. Watch our how-to video.
  • 2 large shallots roughly chopped
  • 3 pounds vine-ripe tomatoes cored, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Place shallots in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl. Working in batches if necessary, place tomatoes in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt and bring to a boil. Stir, then cover the skillet and adjust the heat so mixture cooks at an even simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce deepens slightly in color and any large pieces of tomatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Uncover and cook until sauce thickens slightly, 25 to 30 minutes more.

Taste sauce; it should taste rich and fresh, but you can add a pinch of sugar, a little more salt or a splash of balsamic vinegar if it needs a kick. You can also add some ground black pepper or crushed red chile flakes, a minced anchovy or two or fresh or dried herbs, and cook the sauce for a few minutes more. Make it your own, exactly to your taste!

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months.

*Alternatively, you can swap 4 cups canned no-salt-added plum tomatoes with juices (about 1 1/2 [28-ounce] cans) for the fresh tomatoes and reduce the cook time by about 10 minutes.

Note: We've provided special diet and nutritional information for educational purposes. But remember - we're cooks, not doctors! You should follow the advice of your health-care provider. And since product formulations change, check product labels for the most recent ingredient information.
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