My goal for this blog is to share with you what I have learned from my grandparents and parents about good Italian home cooking.  Creating Italian dinners should not be difficult or time consuming and they should be healthy as well as delicious. In future posts I will share with you more information about my relatives and their enthusiasm for cooking. One of the first things I learned was the importance of a quality tomato sauce, either marinara or meat based, as so many Italian dishes rely on such a sauce. It is not difficult to make your own sauce and you will know what is in it. Jarred sauce often contains sugar, too much salt and preservatives or additives.

Start with quality canned tomatoes.  I prefer the boxed 28 oz. POMI Italian chopped tomatoes. The only ingredient in this product is tomatoes.  If you can’t find this product, try to find tomatoes with as few added ingredients as possible, such as Muir Glen.

You can prepare this sauce on the weekend, if you have a busy week schedule. This recipe makes enough sauce for several meals and you can keep some of the sauce for up to a week in the refrigerator for a weeknight dinner and you can freeze the rest in several containers for a few other meals.

In the next post I will tell you how to prepare meatballs and sausage to add to this basic sauce.

Homemade Marinara Sauce


  • 3 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 4-28 oz. boxes Pomi finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper and dried thyme.
  • Salt and pepper


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven and saute the vegetables and garlic. Add the tomato paste. Fill the empty can with water and add it to the pot.

Add 4-28 oz. boxes Pomi tomatoes.

Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Add 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon each black pepper and the dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper and dried thyme.

Simmer, uncovered, for another hour or until the sauce thickens.

Taste the sauce to see if it is very acidic. If it is, add a teaspoon of honey or agave syrup.

Pomi Tomatoes