This easy marinara sauce with tomatoes, pancetta, onion, garlic and herbs is not your grandma’s marinara sauce, but better! 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 so today is about this marinara sauce.
I actually adapted this 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 marinara sauce, this one is worth a look.
What Ingredients are in this Easy Marinara Sauce?
- Olive oil
- Produce – sweet onions and garlic
- Tomato puree
- Spices – oregano, basil, thyme, salt
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:
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 generously with salt and taste. Tomatoes need a lot of salt but you need to taste periodically to see if it's how you want. 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.