Classic Marinara Sauce

We are in the midst of the dark days of winter but days are getting longer! On these dreary winter days I daydream about vine ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes are my favorite summer bounty to freeze and save for winter dinners. In late summer when tomatoes are at their peak flavor, wash and dry tomatoes, then pack in gallon zip-locs. Thaw as needed in a large bowl on the counter or overnight in your refrigerator. The skins will pull off easily. If I need fresh tomatoes for a recipe, I usually buy Kumato tomatoes in standard or grape sizes. If you haven’t got any tomatoes in your freezer this year, Pomi® carton tomatoes are a great alternative.

This is a classic marinara sauce. Add garlic or basil to your taste. Cook it a bit more and use as a pizza sauce. Add a little vodka and coconut milk for penne vodka sauce. Use as a base for a minestrone soup. Mix equal parts tomato sauce, olive oil and rice wine vinegar plus some garlic and basil for a tomato vinaigrette. Add cooked fennel, olives and capers to the sauce and serve over spaghetti. You get the idea...the variations are endless!

Classic Marinara Sauce

Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, the onion halves, carrots and salt in a large saucepan. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes to an hour. If the sauce becomes too dry, add some vegetable broth or water. 

Discard the onion and carrots. Taste the sauce and add more salt if necessary. If the sauce is bitter, add the baking soda and/or the butter. Season with freshly ground pepper. Serve over pasta. Garnish with cashew parmesan, chopped fresh basil and garlic.

To make cashew parmesan – Place ingredients in a small jar. Mix until combined. Store in a jar in the freezer for up to 3 months.

makes 5 cups


  • two 28 oz boxes of Pomi® chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1  medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 carrots, scubbed and trimmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda, optional
  • 1 tbsp Miyoko’s cultured butter
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • fresh basil
  • cashew parmesan, recipe follows
  • minced garlic, lightly browned in olive oil, optional


  • ¾ cup cashew meal
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt