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classic marinara sauce

Listen carefully. Those are the sounds of sparkling bubbles. We are clinking glasses and sipping something fizzy today because this new recipe deserves a celebration. We wanted to create a classic marinara sauce that is bold and memorable, so we tested and refined it until it was just right. Toss it with your favorite pasta, use it as a base for your next pizza night, and treat yourself to shakshuka the next morning with any leftover sauce. No matter how you decide to use it, this magic marinara is truly a classic. Also known as Husbands’ Marinara, we’d like to let you in on a few of our secrets.

How is this sauce so darn tasty? The answer is simple: lots of love… and garlic, of course! Using your favorite can of peeled Italian tomatoes (ours is Cento) and a few additional ingredients, you too can transform your kitchen into an authentic cucina. With a splash of red wine, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, this Classic Marinara also calls for a few family secrets that have never been revealed… until today. The first is unsalted butter. Butter makes everything better, and adding a little bit brings a luxurious richness to this recipe. The second is sugar. We use a half teaspoon, which is just enough to take the acidic edge off the tomatoes without making the sauce sweet. Last but not least is fresh rosemary. We add a six-inch sprig and let it simmer in the sauce, bringing a savory, earthy flavor to this wonderfully tangy marinara.

A gourmet Italian meal in just twenty minutes? Yes please! Thankfully, the prep could not be easier. You simply squeeze the tomatoes into a bowl, chop up some garlic, and that’s it. All the ingredients simmer on the stove for fifteen minutes while the pasta cooks, and in the blink of an eye, dinner is served. Whether it’s a special occasion or just an ordinary weeknight, this stellar sauce will certainly make it special. Buon appetito!

Classic Marinara Sauce
Makes about 3 cups, enough for 1 pound of dried pasta

one 28-ounce (793 g) can whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves (10 g), thinly sliced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegan butter
a pinch to 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1 sprig of fresh rosemary

First, crush the tomatoes. Open the can and pour the entire contents into a medium bowl. Use your hands to squeeze and crush each tomato, breaking it apart into pieces. When finished, it should resemble a chunky purée. Set the bowl aside.

Place a medium saucepan on the stove, but do not turn on the heat yet. Pour in the olive oil and garlic, toss to combine, then set the heat to medium. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, let it cook for 30 seconds, then pour in the crushed tomatoes including all the liquid in the bowl. Add the salt, sugar, red wine, butter, red pepper flakes, and sprig of rosemary, then stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig, then use the sauce immediately, or transfer to a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

notes:
— When buying canned tomatoes, look for labels that say “whole peeled Italian tomatoes.” Be sure not to buy standard canned tomatoes which are more watery and have less flavor. Our favorite brand is Cento, but other brands will work too.
— If you prefer a smooth marinara sauce, feel free to purée the sauce once it has finished cooking. Simply use an immersion blender, or transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth.
— If using this sauce for pizza, cook it longer than 15 minutes so the sauce thickens to a spreadable consistency. Simply continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened to your liking. Also, since pizza sauce is typically saltier than pasta sauce, feel free to add salt to taste.
— To make a quick shakshuka: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, pour some marinara sauce into a small skillet, about 1/4 inch deep. Bring to a simmer, and make several 3-inch indentations in the sauce using the back of a spoon, one for each egg. Crack the eggs into the indentations, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then cover the skillet and cook until the whites are solid but the yolks are still runny, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with slices of crusty bread and enjoy!