Homemade Marinara Sauce With Garden Tomatoes Recipe

I ventured into canning my own spaghetti sauce this summer. My recipe is similar to Connie’s- although I cook mine in the crock-pot all day. My crock-pot yields 6 pints for canning. It is very easy to let it cook all day and then process in a water bath! Thanks to Connie for this recipe. Check out Cook with Connie for more fantastic recipes!

Each summer when gardens yield an abundance of tomatoes, I make marinara. Last year, my friend, Sarah, encouraged me to enter my marinara in the county fair and it won first prize! This classic Italian tomato sauce is truly easy to make, and when it’s made with fresh tomatoes and basil, it’s hard to beat. In the winter, you can make marinara with canned tomatoes, but it is best with garden fresh tomatoes that have been blanched. Try my marinara the next time you have a batch of tomatoes. It is delicious on pasta, of course, but try it over steamed zucchini or spaghetti squash. Marinara also makes a great topper for baked potatoes or grilled chicken.

marinara sauce


1 small onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ c. olive oil
6-7 c. blanched*, skinned, chopped tomatoes (or 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained)
½ c. fresh basil, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
½ t. sugar
1 t. salt

Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a Dutch oven, stirring constantly over medium heat until tender. Add tomatoes and remaining ingredients; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until mixture thickens and moisture evaporates, stirring often.

*How to blanch tomatoes: Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds or until skins split. Remove tomatoes from water. Pull skin off of tomatoes by holding each one under cold running water while peeling off the skin. Then, core the tomatoes with a sharp knife, invert each one, and squeeze out the seeds. Chop tomatoes, if desired.


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