This easy marinara sauce with tomatoes, pancetta, onion, garlic and herbs is not your grandma’s marinara sauce, but better! Marinara sauce from scratch is tough to bean and it’s great for a variety of meals.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but if someone told 15-year-old me that down the road I was going to love marinara sauce so much I’d post about it on a blog, I wouldn’t have believed it. I was quite the picky eater back in the day and marinara sauce was one of my biggest enemies. It was so bad, if we went to Olive Garden, I’d get pasta with butter – yep you read that right! But luckily I became more adventurous and my taste buds evolved.
I actually adapted this simple marinara sauce recipe from Anne Burrell when making some meatballs and it’s been my go-to sauce ever since. What I love about making a sauce like this, is that it makes so much that I freeze the rest and use for random dishes, whether it’s some meatballs or some fried mozzarella. To me the pancetta really makes this sauce special. Yes I know most families have their secret sauce that they pass down, but if you’re up for trying something new or just looking for a good homemade marinara sauce, this one is worth a look.
What Ingredients are in this Marinara Sauce Recipe?
- Olive oil
- Produce – sweet onions and garlic
- Tomato puree
- Spices – oregano, basil, thyme, salt
How to Make Marinara Sauce
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until it’s crisp.
- Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add tomato puree, oregano, basil, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce to low, cooking for 2-3 hours.
- Taste throughout and see if you need more salt or herbs. Use when ready or freeze.
Why Do You Use Tomato Puree?
So as I mentioned, this recipe is based off Anne Burrell and she uses San Marzano tomatoes. The first few times I did that but it just got old for me as you have the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the seeds and stems. It was just too much work so I gave tomato puree a shot and loved the flavor. But San Marzano tomatoes work just as well.
Other Sauce Recipes
- Brown Butter Marinara Sauce
- Red Enchilada Sauce
- Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
- Basil Pistachio Sauce
- Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce
Easy Marinara Sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 lb diced pancetta
- 2 large sweet onions, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 (29 oz) cans tomato puree (Use puree as it has less salt than tomato sauce)
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- salt to taste
- Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes Add onion and cook for about 7 minutes or until translucent, stirring frequently. Toss in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the canned tomato puree.
- Season with salt and pepper. Add oregano, basil and thyme. Cover and reduce to low and cook for 2 to 3 hours. Taste throughout to see if you need to add more salt or herbs. Use immediately or freeze.