one chopped onion
2 - 3 cloves minced garlic
2 20 ounce cans crushed tomatoes
2 20 ounce cans puree
1 12 ounce can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon oregano to taste
1 tablespoon basil to taste
1 tablespoon parsley to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon up to 2 tablespoons sugar to taste
about 1/4 cup of wine red or white or whatever you have
brown onion and garlic in olive oil
Add the tomato sauce, puree and paste
(I use Red Pack brand, but I know it is not readily available in all areas. Any good Italian brand is acceptable also.)
Add - oregano, basil and parsley
Start with a teaspoon of each spice and adjust according to your personal tastes.
My family doesn't like oregano, so I use only about 1/2 teaspoon of that and at least a Tablespoon of parsley and basil - sometimes as much as 3 Tablespoons of basil.
If you have FRESH basil, that is much better!!!
Here is where my recipe may differ from others:
Add the baking soda
You will see the sauce bubble.
This is added to take the acid out of the tomatoes! It really works.
add sugar to sauce.
Some like sauce a little sweeter - try starting out with a teaspoon and adjust accordingly.
Many Italian cooks add as much as a 1/4 cup, depending on the amount of sauce you are making.
I would use about 2 Tablespoons for this amount.
A local Italian restaurant is said to add APPLESAUCE to its marinara sauce!
Next step is to add wine
(red, white, whatever you have on hand is fine!).
Then simmer all the ingredients for a few hours.
This is just a tomato sauce.
If you want to add meat to it, you can do so.
I usually make meatballs in advance - 5 pounds at a time, bake them and freeze them on cookie sheets and store in Zip Lock bags and use as many as needed.
I sometimes add brascioli (rolled steak), whole pieces of chicken, porkchops or, a family favorite...wedges (about 1" to 2" lengths) of pepperoni to
Adding meat sometimes makes your sauce a little greasy (especially pepperoni), but gives it a different flavor.
To eliminate SOME of the grease, I cut the pepperoni in 1" or 2" pieces and put them on a glass plate and microwave for a minute or so turning at 30 second intervals.
Then wipe off grease with a paper towel before adding to sauce.
The longer your sauce cooks, the more time the meat will have to absorb the flavor of the sauce and will taste better!
Keep in mind that each meat you add will make the taste of the sauce a little different