There are many many things you can do with a good basic marinara sauce. Serve it over pasta, use it for meatballs, add cream to it for a tomato cream sauce, braise meats. Here is a very traditional, standard recipe that I always use. The quality of the canned tomatoes is key here. I always try to buy canned tomatoes from San Marzano like the San Marzano or Cento brands. I also always buy the whole peeled tomatoes and then will just puree them with a stick blender or if I want a chunkier sauce, I will just smash the tomatoes with my hands. I also have recently discovered the beauty of adding white wine to my marinara to add some brightness. It really makes a difference.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 – 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes (san marzano) – pureed
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
sea salt (about 2 teaspoons – adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, about 7 minutes. Then add garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add wine and cook for about 2 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated. Add in pureed tomatoes and parsley. Stir to mix and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.