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Prep 10 mins
Cook 2 hrs
I grew up in an Italian household with my Grandfather (Carl D'andrea), teaching me from early childhood, his family recipe for 'basic tomato sauce' or marinara (not written down, completely from memory). I know this recipe like the back of my hand, and when I recently found myself with leftover italian sausages, peppers, and onions from italian sausage sandwiches the night before - I decided to 'get creative' with my grandfathers marinara recipe in combination. Awesome flavor, very good over pasta -- enjoy, & as my Grandpa used to say, 'Mangia!' (which means 'EAT' in Italian)...
- 28 ounces tomato sauce (use a good sauce such as Furmano's)
- 3⁄4 cup onions, chopped fine or 1 small onion
- 3 -4 garlic cloves, chopped or 2 -3 tablespoons store bought minced garlic
- 1⁄2 cup green pepper, chopped
- 1 medium size tomatoes, chopped
- 3 -4 Italian sausages, pre-cooked and chopped in food processor (sweet or hot, your preference)
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup dry red wine (a good one that you will drink)
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 2 -3 bay leaves
- 2 -3 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning (oregano, basil, parsley, thyme mixture)
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pinch sugar
- In a large non-stick skillet with a lid, add the olive oil and warm over medium heat, allow oil to heat for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add chopped onion and green pepper, cook for about 2-3 minutes or until onion is soft and you can see thru it, stir for even cooking.
- Add chopped/minced garlic, stir and continue to simmer thru for another 2 minutes.
- Add dry seasonings, chopped tomato, and chopped Italian sausage. Stir all and cook for another 2 minutes then add the ¼-cup dry red wine and stir all together.
- Add fennel seed & black pepper, cook another 2 minutes longer.
- Next, add the tomato sauce and water, bay leaves, salt and sugar, stir all and cover with lid, allow to cook on medium until mixture begins to slow boil, then remove lid. Stir again, cover and turn heat to a low simmer, allowing to cook for several hours or until ready to serve with pasta.
- Allowing sauce to slow cook for at least 2-3 hours makes for a more robust sauce ~ serve with al dente pasta, a good crusty Italian bread (ciabatta for example), freshly grated Italian cheese (a good quality aged Pecorino Romano made from sheeps or goats milk is best, never cows milk), & your favorite red wine (our favorite is a good cabernet).
- Sauce is also better the next day, so as a time saver make this sauce up a day ahead, allow to cool thoroughly before refrigerating, then serve the next night for dinner.
This is a topnotch sauce and one I can use for many pasta dishes. We do not like fennel at all so always have to omit it but that is fine and tastes great without am sure. Also freezes well because there is just 2 of us. Thanks for a wonderful addition to my pasta file.
I've made a lot of spaghetti sauces, but this one was top notch. I wouldn't make any changes.