Red Wine Marinara Sauce

Homemade marinara is one of those recipes I’ve wanted to try for some time now.   There is just something to be said for good ol’ fashioned red sauce made from fresh tomatoes; no cans involved.  This recipe is good – really good; and as we all know, good things take time.  Once you put the love into the pot, I promise it will will reward you in spades.  The best part is, this sauce can be fridged for up to two weeks and frozen for up to six months.  It only gets better and once it’s cooked up it can lend itself to a delightfully quick weeknight meal.  Serve it with meatballs to create a hearty spaghetti dish or spread it over pizza as a savory sauce.  However you use it, I guarantee you’ll be happy you chose to make your own.

Before I jump to the recipe, I’m excited to announce a new partnership I’ve started with Sunbird Seasonings. Get ready for some delectable recipes in the upcoming weeks!

They’re kicking things off with a contest over at their facebook page.   Head over and enter to win a $500 spa package at the location of your choice.  The contest runs through October 12th, so be sure to get your name into the pot!

Ok, moving on to the marinara.  We’re going to start out by caramelizing a handful of onions.  I could seriously eat a pile of these beauties all on their own.

While the onions are cooking, you’ll go ahead and blanch the tomatoes.  Simply boil a pot of water and drop each tomato in for one minute and no more.  This will allow you to literally peel the skins off with your fingers.

Once the onions are good and cooked, add in a copious amount of garlic.

Let it cook into the onions for a minute or two and then pour in a few healthy glugs of red wine and deglaze.

Add in the tomatoes along with a few bay leaves and it’s officially time for a long term simmer; the kind that makes the whole house smell like an Italian restaurant straight out of the Bronx.

After it’s had a good long afternoon cook, slide it into the fridge and let it cool completely; preferably overnight.  The next day, bring it back out and heat it back up to a simmer.  Add in the fresh oregano and a few hearty shakes of salt.

Fifteen minutes before it’s ready to serve up, you’ll add in a handful of fresh basil and parsley along with any additional salt you feel it might need.

If you add quality ingredients, a bit of time and a lot of love to your pot, the results will be sure to reward you every single time.  Enjoy the spoils and don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Sunbird Spa getaway!

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Red Wine Marinara Sauce

Total Time: 24 hours


2 Onions, Chopped
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
6 Large Tomatoes
3/4 Cup Red Wine
3 Bay Leaves
1 Bunch Fresh Oregano, Chopped
1 Bunch Fresh Basil, Chopped
2 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt to taste


In a large dutch oven set to medium heat, add the olive oil and the onions. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are good and caramelized.

Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

While the onions are cooking, heat up a large pot of water to boiling and drop the tomatoes in for 1 minute each to blanch.

Remove them from the pot and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

Peel and roughly chop the tomatoes.

Once the garlic has cooked into the onions, add in the red wine and stir it around to thoroughly deglaze the pan.

Add in your prepared tomatoes and the bay leaves.

Cover and cook at a simmer (medium low) for a minimum of four hours.

Once finished cooking, place the dutch oven into the fridge and let it cool completely; preferably overnight.

The day of serving bring the pot back up to temperature on medium low heat and add in the oregano.

15 minutes before serving stir in the basil and parsley.

Salt to taste.

Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Note:  I am working with C H Guenther as a part of their blogger advocate program and am being compensated for my time.  As always, all opinions are strictly my own.

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17 Responses to “Red Wine Marinara Sauce”

  1. 1

    anne — September 9, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    I’ve had homemade marinara on my radar for quite some time, too, the recipe I was going to follow is very similar and sounds sooooo good!! anne

  2. 2

    Jenna — September 9, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    Looks fabulous and hearty! There’s nothing like homemade marinara sauce. I love the stuff so much.

  3. 3

    Mari's Cakes — September 9, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    You make a great marinara sauce. Adding the fresh basil is a must, I am so craving some of this sauce at this moment!

    Have a great weekend :)

  4. 4

    Melissa R. — September 9, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    THIS looks amazing! My husband is Italian, and every Italian restaurant we go to, he always asks to sample their marinara sauce. He says their marinara sauce says a lot about them as a restaurant. I can’t wait to make this for him and see his reaction! :)

  5. 5

    Kim {Recipes To Run On} — September 9, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    I have a wonderful bottle of red wine…. If I bring that, can I have some? :-) This looks so wonderful. Especially now that the temperature has drastically dropped and it feels like fall. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. 6

    Manderley — September 9, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    Humm wonderful, must be so good!

  7. 7

    Laura in Cancun — September 10, 2011 @ 11:33 am

    Spaghetti’s my favorite!! You’re making me miss my mom’s

  8. 8

    Faith — September 10, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    Great sauce Julie. Love this home edition. I always try to make my own sauce for spaghetti and other dishes and yours fits every taste.

  9. 9

    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — September 10, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

    That’s a gorgeous sauce! And good for so many different recipes. Great job.

  10. 10

    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — September 10, 2011 @ 8:07 pm

    This looks fantastic Julie! We must be on the same track–I’ve got spaghetti and meatballs on my site right now. :)

  11. 11

    Rita — September 11, 2011 @ 4:03 am

    What a great post; love your presentation; that sprig of basil and those meatballs makes it all fantastic.Perfect time oof the year for your sauce.

  12. 12

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — September 11, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    yum, I love red wine in marinara sauce! And fresh tomatoes?? This looks great!

  13. 13

    Beth — September 11, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    I love eating caramelized onions on their own too. This recipe looks seriously terrific!

  14. 14

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — September 12, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    I love marinara sauce but I have never made my own (shh!). I think it’s time to give it a try!

  15. 15

    Ma What's For Dinner — September 12, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    Great gravy recipe, Julie. Keegan asked for spaghetti and meatballs tonight. Now I’m in the mood too!

  16. 16

    Ameena — September 12, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

    Is marinara really this easy? Seriously? I always thought it required a whole bunch of expensive tomatoes and a ton of time. I might rethink my jar of Classico now. :)

    Great recipe!

  17. 17

    Chef Dennis — September 25, 2011 @ 11:21 am


    what a perfect marinara! its been ages since I’ve used fresh tomatoes, how delicious yours must have been! I like the idea of the red wine, it was a nice addition to your sauce!
    Hope all is well!


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