Chunky San Marzano Marinara Sauce


September 14, 2013 by Kai Chan

It’s tomato season in the bay area and as a result, I have been getting all kinds of tomatoes basically every week since I signed up for my CSA box. This past week, I received San Marzano tomatoes, which I have used in the past by replacing canned tomatoes in recipes, such as chicken cacciatore. However, this time I decided that it was handy to have some marinara sauce on hand (in the freezer) when I want to make some pasta with tomato sauce.  If you have a lot of patience and are detail oriented, then you can make skinless, seedless and smooth marinara sauce. I have done it in the past and it takes at least 3 times as long because you’re adding in steps to flash boil and peel the tomato skin as well as removing seeds and pressing them through a sieve to capture all the juices and finally blending the sauce to make it smooth.  Again, my lazy bone kicked in and I wanted to make the marinara sauce in under 30 minutes, so I decided to make chunky marinara sauce with onions and garlic.  Since it’s a marinara sauce, I decided not to add any salt and pepper because I know I will be using the sauce later for pasta and will it season then. However, if you want to use the sauce right away, feel free to add salt & pepper to your liking.  Some people like to add some wine to the marinara sauce which is fine too, but I decided to keep this version super simple.



2 lbs San Marzano tomatoes

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt & pepper (optional)

Yields about 20 ounces of marinara sauce.



Wash the tomatoes and then dice the tomatoes.  Keep in mind, larger chunks will result in chunkier sauce.


DSC_0004In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the garlic and let it cook for 30 seconds until golden brown.



Add the tomatoes and then cover with a lid and let the mixture come to a boil.  DSC_0012




After the tomatoes come to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to let the tomatoes simmer for 10 minutes and bring out the juices from the tomatoes. 






Take off the cover and stir the sauce to make sure none of it stuck to the bottom of the sauce pan.  Let the sauce continue to simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and let it thicken.





Let the marinara sauce cool before jarring them. If you plan on freezing the jars, then make sure you leave enough room for the marinara to expand.  It’s not pleasant to find broken jars in the freezer because they were filled to the brim…



I prefer homemade marinara sauce over store-bought versions. It’s healthier since you are using fresh ingredients and there are additional preservatives. The marinara should be eaten within 3 days, otherwise it can keep up in the freezer up to 3 months (any longer, you may get a freezer burn taste to the food). Enjoy!



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