Really Easy Marinara Sauce

This sauce is a breeze to make, and you can use it for your homemade pizza, as a sauce for eggplant parm, or just over pasta.

  • 2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin or light olive oil
  • lots of fresh garlic- maybe 6-8 cloves finely chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar (optional)

In saucepan over medium flame, heat oil, add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, and saute till garlic is translucent.  Add crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and simmer covered over low flame for about 1 hour.  Re-season as needed.  

Judy’s Healthier Pasta with Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

I have been making my homemade meat sauce with meatballs  for the last 3o years, and it remains a family favorite.  But recently, my children have been requesting that I make marinara sauce with meatballs as a lighter and healthier alternative.  So my challenge was to make sure my meatballs would be just as delicious even though they wouldn’t be cooking in my meat sauce.  Well, I did it!  My inspiration to develop the recipe came from my daughter Randi, who thought her baby, Noah, would love the meatballs.  Randi and her husband Dan have been vegetarians for the last 10 years, but have started eating meat again, but they still don’t want a meat overload.  So the perfect compromise is a great marinara sauce with my incredible meatballs.  As a bonus to health, I found fabulous organic ground beef at Costco.  It comes in vacuum sealed 1 pound packages which can be easily frozen, and easily defrosted.  The meat was absolutely beautiful, and had the freshest smell when  I opened it.  What a find!  This is a delicious and economical recipe that you are sure to enjoy.

for the meatballs:

3 pounds organic chopped meat (or ground turkey)

3  extra large eggs

about 3/4 cup ketchup

about 3/4 cup plain  bread crumbs ( I once substituted about 1/4 cup of organic oats and 2 tablespoons wheat germ for some of the bread crumbs, and the meatballs were just as good as when I use all breadcrumbs.)

kosher salt, garlic powder, and ground pepper to taste

Mix with clean hands gently; do not overmix.

Form into meatballs with a diameter of about 1 1/2 inches.

In a very large nonstick frying pan, put a drop of canola or olive oil.  Heat, then put meatballs in over low-medium flame, and brown for just a few minutes over a medium heat.  Turn meatballs and then COVER pan.  You do not want to really brown them all over, because they can become tough.  It is almost as if you are steaming them.  Take cover off a few times and turn meatballs.  This should be a gentle process.  Discard fat as you cook meatballs.  When meatballs seem pretty cooked, transfer them with slotted spoon into your pot of marinara sauce being careful to drain as much fat as possible before putting meatballs in sauce.  The meatballs don’t have to be fully cooked when they go in the sauce, because they will finish cooking in the sauce.  Simmer the meatballs in the marinara sauce over a low heat for at least another hour with cover on over a very low flame.  Recipe for marinara sauce is below.

for the marinara sauce:

about 1/3 cup olive oil

4 or 5 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes (best brand is Sclafani- found at Pathmark on Route 1 in Edison and Top Tomato)

1 small can tomato paste

6-8  garlic cloves, crushed or minced

2 medium or 1 large onion, chopped very fine (I use the metal blade of the food processor and I pulse the onion until it is the consistency of chunky apple sauce)

kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste

1 tablespoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or dried herbes de provence

1 teaspoon of sugar, if you like

Pour about 1/3 cup of olive oil in a very large saucepan.  Add crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon.  Then saute the onion till translucent, add the chopped or crushed garlic cloves, and saute with the onion till soft.  Add all  the tomato product, about 8 – 12 oz. of water if you think the sauce is too thick, about 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to taste.  Cover and simmer over low flame mixing every 10 or 15 minutes.

After the marinara has been cooking for about 45 minutes, add the meatballs which you have prepared and par-cooked as instructed above.  Then simmer meatballs in sauce over lowest flame for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours with cover on.

Add more seasonings as needed.  Serve over pasta of your choice.  Or you can let the sauce cool and freeze it in quart containers with the meatballs.

Simple Fusilli With Fresh Cherry Tomato Sauce

I was over at my daughter’s house a few weeks ago.  She had some beautiful organic cherry tomatoes on the counter.  So I made a quick tomato sauce and tossed it with some fusilli and it was delicious.  She told me the next day that her husband Dan actually did something only my son Benji has done, he picked up his plate and licked it clean!

  • about 12 ounces of fusilli pasta 
  • about 1/4 cup of olive oil (I use light)
  • 2 pints of cherry or grape tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped (you may substitute 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn)

Boil water in large pot for pasta.  Then cook pasta till al dente, reserving a little of the pasta water.

In medium-large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add red pepper flakes, and saute a minute or so .  Add grape or cherry tomatoes, the salt, pepper, and cook over medium heat until tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4-6 minutes.  Then add the minced garlic, and saute another minute or two.  Last, add the oregano, and cook another minute. 

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce.  Add a little pasta water if pasta seems a little dry.

Optional:  Add 4 – 8 oz. of diced fresh or block mozzarella cheese and toss it before you serve pasta.  I have made this both ways, but I prefer it without the cheese. 

Spinach Lasagna Rolls Baked With Mozzarella and Marinara Sauce

I wanted to make a lighter version of lasagna, but without sacrificing any flavor.  I added spinach to make the dish a little healthier.  I used my simplest homemade marinara sauce.  The homemade sauce makes all the difference!

for the marinara sauce:

about 1/3 cup olive oil ( I use light)

2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes (preferably Sclafani brand; these crushed tomatoes are so delicious, you could eat them right out of the can!)

1 medium onion, medium dice

3 large garlic cloves, grated

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 to 1/2 cup water

for the lasagna rolls:

about 1 pound uncooked lasagna noodles (do not use the no-boil noodles)

1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese (either whole milk or part skim)

1 10 oz. box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry

1 large egg

1 pound of grated mozzarella cheese, divided (I usually use whole milk)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves (I prefer thyme)

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

light sprinkling of red pepper flakes

some freshly cracked black pepper

for the sauce:

In large deep skillet or saucepan, pour the live oil.  Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and the diced onion.  Saute for about 4 minutes over medium flame until onion is translucent.  Grate in the garlic, and saute 1 more minute.  Pour in the crushed tomatoes, sprinkle in the salt and the freshly cracked pepper.  Cover and simmer over lowest flame for about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle in the fresh thyme leaves and stir.  Add about 1/4 cup water if sauce is really thick.  You may even need another 1/4 cup of water.  This will make about 2 quarts of sauce.  You will need about 1 quart of sauce for this recipe. You can freeze the leftover sauce.

for the lasagna rolls:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, the spinach, one cup of the Parmesan or Romano cheese, salt, red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper, 1 large egg, 1 cup of grated mozzarella, the fresh thyme leaves or the freshly chopped basil, and about 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water.  Set aside.

Boil lasagna noodles until cooked, reserving some pasta water.  Rinse under cold water, and lay noodles out on sheet pan. 

Spoon some marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13 oval or rectangular baking dish (sauce should be about 1/8 inch high in pan).  Take one lasagna noodle, and spoon about 3 tablespoons of the spinach cheese mixture on the noodle. Then with a knife or rubber spatula, smooth the mixture evenly on the entire noodle.  Roll the noodle up, and place seem side down in the dish.  Repeat with each lasagna noodle.  You should have enough filling for about 17 noodles.  Then spoon some marinara sauce on top of each lasagna roll.  Sprinkle lightly with the 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan or Romano.  Then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over each roll. 

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.  Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake until the cheese on top becomes golden, about 15 minutes longer.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat some leftover marinara sauce and serve it alongside.

Notes:

I usually try to buy mozzarella that is not pre-grated in the bag, because the pre-grated mozzarella is just not as good.  It is very easy to grate the cheese yourself, it is less expensive, and it is just better all-round.

I make this and freeze it unbaked.  Then I let it defrost in the refrigerator the day I want to bake it.

Rich But Simple As 1-2-3 Marinara Sauce

THIS IS A VERSATILE, AUTHENTIC ITALIAN MARINARA SAUCE YOU CAN MAKE IN 30 MINUTES AND YOU CAN USE WITH CHICKEN PARMESAN, BAKED ZITI, LASAGNA, PIZZA, OR TO GO WITH YOUR FAVORITE PASTA!

Recently, I developed a new recipe for marinara sauce, and it was so rich and delicious, and so so easy to make.  This marinara sauce is as good as any I have eaten in any Italian restaurant!  I have used it to make my chicken Parmesan, my baked ziti,and for pasta with marinara, and it is superb!  You just have to try it!

  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (I use light)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, grated (Use a micro-plane and grate garlic right into the pot)
  • about 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • about 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
  • 2  28 oz. cans good crushed tomatoes (the quality of the tomatoes makes a huge difference.  I love the brand, Sclafani- the tomatoes are incredible)

Over low flame, pour oil into pot.  Sprinkle in red pepper flakes.  Saute for a minute.  Then cook onions about 3 min.  until translucent.  Add garlic, salt, and pepper.  Saute for one minute more.  Pour tomatoes in.  Put thyme in.  Cover and simmer over low flame about 20 -30 min.  Taste and re-season.  If sauce seems too thick, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water.  

Note:  I got the idea from watching Rachel Ray to use the micro-plane to grate the garlic, and it’s a great idea!

My Favorite Spaghetti With Marinara Sauce

This Recipe For Spaghetti and Marinara Sauce Is Light And Healthy!

For years, whenever I made spaghetti, I made my recipe for spaghetti with meat sauce. But when my daughter Randi was in fourth grade, she started to not like eating meat in general. I realized that I needed to master the art of cooking a really good marinara sauce. It did take quite a bit of experimenting before I hit on really good recipe that my kids really liked. I love the fact that this recipe makes about 4 quarts, because then I can freeze 3 quarts and always have some homemade sauce on hand in the freezer. I use this sauce for my baked ziti, my homemade pizza, for eggplant parmesan, and of course for any type of pasta over marinara sauce. You will be happy and your family will be very happy when you make this, I promise!

for the marinara sauce:

This recipe makes about 4-5 quarts of sauce, so if you wish to make less, just halve each ingredient.

  • 3, 4, or 5 28 ounce cans of peeled plum tomatoes in thick puree or tomato juice (I prefer the puree because it makes the sauce a little thicker) – or you may substutute can of good crushed tomatoes (Sclafani is best)
  • 1- 8 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 very large or 2 medium onions
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin, pure, or light olive oil (I use the light)
  • kosher salt
  • crushed red pepper
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • scant teaspoon granulated sugar- optional
  • herbes de provence- just a sprinkling or about 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Peel and quarter the onions. Put them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse the onions until they are almost pureed; they will have the consistency of apple sauce (this adds body and flavor to the sauce without the pieces of onions that many children find objectionable). Then peel the garlic cloves, and crush them using a garlic press. Set the garlic aside. Put about 1/4 cup of olive oil in the bottom of a pretty big and heavy pot over a low to medium flame. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of crushed pepper in the oil. (I’ve been using my Le Creuset dutch oven lately, but for years, I made this sauce in my big Farberware pot, and it came out just as good.) After a minute or so, dump the onions in, and saute them until they are really translucent and soft. Then add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Rinse out the bowl and blade of the food processor, and then put all the whole tomatoes in, reserving all the puree or juice. Pulse the tomatoes, until they are quite, but not totally smooth. You want the tomatoes to still have just a little bit of texture to them, but they should not be in large chunks. Dump the tomatoes into the onion and garlic mixture, and add all of the puree from the cans. Then, add the one can of tomato paste.

Add kosher salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons, and some freshly ground pepper, about 8 grinds, put the top on, and simmer over a low to medium flame for about 30-45 minutes. Then, taste the sauce. At this point, I usually add a little less than a teaspoon of sugar, and about 1/4 teaspoon of herbes de provence. If you can’t find herbes de provence, you can substitute an Italian seasoning blend. You may also need to add more salt, and a little more crushed red pepper – if you like your sauce to have a little more heat. Simmer it (cover on) for another 45 min. or an hour over a low flame so that all the flavors can meld with the tomatoes.

to put the whole thing together:

  • 1 pound of spaghetti or your favorite pasta
  • 3/4 quart, about 28 ounces of marinara sauce
  • freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

Bring 1 large pot of water to a boil. Place pasta in water. Stir around to separate the noodles. Cook according to package directions to your liking. Drain in collander. Then place the pasta back in the pot you cooked it in. (For 1 pound of pasta, add about 3/4 cup of already heated sauce. For 1 1/2 pounds of pasta, you will need 1 quart of sauce.) Then over a low heat, just stir the sauce gently so it coats the pasta. Serve with freshly grated romano or parmesan cheese on the side.

Note: For pasta, I love the brand DeCeco because the pasta really stays al dente even if you cook it a little longer.

Thin Crust, But Not Quite Ledo’s, Pizza

Learn To Make This Outstanding Homemade Thin Crust Pizza!

My favorite pizza in the world is Ledo’s pizza- and I’m talking about the original Ledo’s in Adelphi, Maryland. I graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park in 1977. One of the absolute highlights of my college experience was eating Ledo’s pizza from Ledo’s Pizza in Adelphi, Maryland. The first time I ate Ledo’s pizza it was definitely love at first sight and first bite. When a plain large pie, which consisted of 2 cafeteria trays filled with mouth-watering cheesy pizza was delivered to the table, I was in gastronomic ecstasy! I went crazy for the crust, which was more like a flaky pie crust than a traditional pizza crust. I loved the sweet sauce, and of course the cheese was great too. Luckily, my brother Kenny Fried lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his family, so from time to time when we visit him, we make it a point to make a stop at Ledo’s in Adelphi on our way back to New Jersey to pick up one large pie for the ride. My 3 kids love Ledo’s pizza as much as I do, too. Ledo’s is a franchise now, so I keep hoping that someone will open up a Ledo’s in New Jersey. Still, I’ve eaten at some of the franchises, and none compare to the original Ledo’s in Adelphi.

I developed my own pizza recipe, because I just wasn’t crazy about any of the pizza we can get near our house. This homemade pizza is yummy. It has a thin crust, and my children and friends claim my pizza is very similar to the pizza at our favorite local pizzeria, Federici’s, in Freehold. Last summer, I made this pizza for my son-in-law’s father, Mike Greenhouse and his wife Leah, and they loved it. Leah said it was the best pizza she had ever eaten. What a compliment!

You will be surprised how easy it is to make a fantastic homemade pizza. Give it a try!

for the crust: (This recipe makes 2 rectangular pies- thin crust- each about 16 by 10 inches but you can make 2 round pizzas as well)

  • 1 3/4 cup unbleached flour, plus extra for when you knead the dough
  • 3/4 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees
  • 1 package of Fleischmann’s active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of light olive oil (you may substitute any oil)
  • cornmeal (optional) for baking the pizza

for the marinara sauce (This recipe makes about 4 quarts of sauce, and you will need about 1 cup of sauce for each pie you make, so you can stick the rest in containers in the freezer):

  • about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of light or extra virgin olive oil
  • 4- 28 oz. cans of plum tomatoes in thick puree, or 4- 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1- 6 oz. can of good tomato paste, such as Contadina
  • about 4-6 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped very finely in processor or by hand (if you like your sauce smooth, then pulse the onion in the processor until it is the consistency of applesauce)
  • red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

for the topping:

  • dried oregano -optional
  • red pepper flakes- optional
  • 8 oz grated mozzarella cheese for each pie (16 oz. for 2 pies)
  • about 8 oz of marinara sauce

to make the dough:

Measure 1 3/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Measure 3/4 cup of hot water in a Pyrex measuring cup. Put a thermometer in, and when the temperature goes down to between 105 degrees and 115 degrees, sprinkle the package of dry yeast in. Add the 1 teaspoon sugar, and the 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir with a fork just to mix. Let sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is foamy on the surface of the water.

Pour the water, yeast, oil, and sugar mixture into the mixing bowl with the flour and salt. Gently fold the liquid into the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula. When it is fully incorporated, dump the dough onto a floured board, counter, or table. Knead for about 7-10 minutes, adding a little flour to the board if the dough starts to stick or if your dough is too wet. You will know you can stop kneading when you push your finger into the dough lightly and the indentation disappears. Another indication you have kneaded the dough enough is when you notice that the dough has become harder to knead because it is becoming too springy. Place the dough in a large, clean mixing bowl that you have lightly greased with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put it in a warm spot in your kitchen. Let it double in size- which it does in about an hour to an hour and a half. If your kitchen isn’t warm enough, it may take about 2 hours for the dough to double in size.

Then dump the dough onto a floured board. Turn it once on the floured board, and then pat it down to deflate it. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Wrap individually in plastic wrap, and place in a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate the dough until you are ready to make your pizza. You can use the dough up to one day after you make it.

to make the marinara sauce:

Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil in the bottom of a heavy pot. Sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes in the oil. Saute for 1 minute. Add the finely chopped onion. Saute until translucent. Then add the crushed garlic. Saute for one minute more. If you are using whole canned tomatoes, put them in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the metal blade (reserving the juice or puree in the can), and pulse the tomatoes until they are almost pureed, but still have a little consistency to them. Add the tomatoes and reserved juice or puree in the cans to the pot. If you are using cans of crushed tomatoes, add all the the pot. Add the 1 can of tomato paste. Add kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Stir well. Simmer covered over a low flame for about 1 hour. Add about 1 teaspoon of sugar and a light sprinkling of herbes de provence or Italian seasoning. Simmer covered another 1/2 hour to hour, tasting and stirring every 15 minutes or so. Adjust seasonings -salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to your liking.

to assemble the pizza:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Put a large piece of parchment paper on a sturdy cookie sheet or half sheet pan. Sprinkle the parchment paper lightly with some yellow cornmeal. Take one of your pizza doughs out of the refrigerator. Sprinkle some flour on a board or your counter. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out so that it is a rectangle, about 13 to 16 inches by 9 to 12 inches. Then spoon about 1 cup or so of sauce so that it covers the whole surface, going as close to the edges as possible. Then sprinkle dried oregano (optional) over the sauce. If you like your pizza a little hotter, sprinkle a few red pepper flakes over the sauce. Then, sprinkle about 8 oz. of grated mozzarella cheese over the sauce, going as close to the edges as possible. Place on low rack in the preheated oven. Bake about 15 minutes. If you like your pizza a little more well done, cook it a few minutes more. Use a pizza cutter to slice the pizza into squares or rectangles and serve immediately.

Note 1: If I don’t have enough time to make my own sauce, or I don’t have any on hand in my freezer, I use a smooth jarred marinara sauce. Shop Rite marinara sauce is inexpensive and it works great! I also like Ragu Organic Marinara Sauce.

Note 2: You can add your own toppings such as caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms.

Note 3: If you like your crust a little thicker, then roll it out thicker to your liking.

Best Marinara Sauce in the World

For Pasta and Marinara Sauce, Chicken Parmesan, Eggplant Parmesan, Baked Ziti, Ravioli, or Homemade Pizza 

I developed this recipe because I wanted a vegetarian alternative to my meat sauce recipe.  I needed a perfect recipe for marinara sauce, because there are so many uses for a meatless tomato sauce.  This recipe is so delicious!  I like to always have a few quart containers of this marinara sauce on hand in my freezer.  It’s so easy to take a container out, defrost it in the microwave, and voila, I have the ability to put together a fabulous dinner at the drop of a hat.  Of course, the easiest (and healthiest) thing to do is serve this marinara sauce with your favorite pasta. But I also use it to make my chicken or eggplant parmesan, baked ziti, or ravioli.  I especially love to use it when I make my homemade pizza.  This sauce is so easy to make, that there is no reason in the world to ever use a jarred sauce again.  The flavor is so fresh tasting, so pure tasting, and oh so delicious.  When I served it the last time for company, my companion Jim’s 16 year old daughter, Sarah actually drank the sauce off of her plate. She said, “Judy, what do you put in this to make it so delicious?”  I have also received highest compliments from Jim’s brother-in-law, Hank, who is Italian.  he really knows his Italian food.  Of course, my children, Randi, Danny, and Benji are my biggest fans of this recipe.  I know that once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked.  You will be making this marinara sauce over and over again, and your friends and family will be asking you, “Are you sure you’re not Italian?”

This recipe makes about 4-5 quarts of sauce, so if you wish to make less, just halve each ingredient.

  • 4- 28 ounce cans of peeled plum tomatoes in thick puree (orcans of Sclafani crushed tomatoes)
  • 1- 8 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 very large or 2 medium onions
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • extra virgin, pure, or light olive oil (I use the light)
  • kosher salt
  • crushed red pepper
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • scant teaspoon granulated sugar
  • herbes de provence
  • freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese for serving

Peel and quarter the onions.  Put them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse the onions until they are almost pureed; they will have the consistency of apple sauce.  Then peel the garlic cloves, and crush them using a garlic press.  Set the garlic aside. Put a little less than 1/2 cup of olive oil in the bottom of a pretty big pot over a low to medium flame.  Put about 1/2 teaspoon of crushed pepper in the oil. I’ve been using my Le Creuset dutch oven lately, but for years, I made this sauce in my big Farberware pot, and it came out just as good.  After a minute or so, dump the onions in, and saute them until they are really translucent and soft.  Then add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Rinse out the bowl and blade of the food processor, and then put all the whole tomatoes in, reserving all the puree.  Pulse the tomatoes, until they are quite, but not totally smooth.  You want the tomatoes to still have just a little bit of texture to them, but they should not be in large chunks. Dump the tomatoes into the onion and garlic mixture, and add all of the puree from the cans.  Then, add the one can of tomato paste.

Add kosher salt to taste, about 2 teaspoons, and some freshly ground pepper, about 8 grinds, put the top on, and simmer over a low to medium flame for about 30-45 minutes.  Then, taste the sauce.  At this point, I usually add a little less than a teaspoon of sugar, and about 1/4 teaspoon of herbes de provence.  If you can’t find herbes de provence, you can substitute an Italian seasoning blend.  You may also add more salt, and a little more crushed red pepper, if you like your sauce to have a little more heat.  Simmer it (cover on) for another  45 min. or an hour so that all the flavors can meld with the tomatoes.

Note:  When I make this sauce to go with pasta, I cook 1 pound of pasta for 4 people, or 1 1/2 pounds of pasta for 6 people.  I drain the pasta in a collander, and put it back in the same pot I cooked it in.  I then add the marinara sauce back to the pasta, using about 3/4 of a quart of sauce for 1 pound of pasta, or 1 quart of sauce for 1 1/2 pounds of pasta.  I heat the pasta with the sauce for a minute or two to coat the noodles beautifully with the sauce.  This recipe will yield about 4 quarts of sauce, so if you use one quart of your sauce initially,  you will have 3 quarts to put in the freezer.  Refrigerate leftover sauce in the quart containers for at least 1 or 2 hours before putting it in the freezer.