There are many iterations and recipes about how to make a good Marinara sauce. Here is what I use – I prefer it because it is simple and a proven winner over the years.
You will need:
- 1 28 oz can whole San Marzano tomatoes (certified DOP, if possible)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 7 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large basil sprig, fresh
- pinch, crushed red pepper flakes
Pour tomatoes in a bowl and crush with your (clean) hands or use a food processor. Pour 1 cup of water in the empty can and swish to get a little tomato juice. Save it for later.
In a large sauce pan or skillet, heat oil over medium – add garlic when it is ready. As soon as the garlic is sizzling (do not overcook), add the tomatoes. Then the reserved tomato water, the pinch of red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir.
Place the basil sprig (stem included) on the surface. Let it wilt and submerge into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and oil on the surface is a deep orange, around 15 minutes.