Rustic Marinara Sauce


I've been perfecting this rustic tomato sauce recipe for over 10 years. Melting just a little cheese in the sauce adds great richness without overwhelming the tomatoes. And it's easy to keep these ingredients stocked in the house! Makes for amazing leftovers!

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 2 white onions, diced

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (28 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes

  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1 cup dry white wine

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon white sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, divided

  • ¾ cup chopped fresh basil

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat; cook and stir onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes more.

  2. Mix petite diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes, white wine, tomato paste, oregano, salt, sugar, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and bay leaves into onion mixture; reduce heat to low, cover Dutch oven, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors blend, about 1 hour.

  3. Remove the Dutch oven from heat. Add 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, basil, and parsley into sauce; stir until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce when serving.


It's almost better the day after. Make it the day before and heat it up for company!

This recipe is also very forgiving. It's the perfect starting point for all kinds of tomato sauce experimentation (add ground beef, add sausage, serve over chicken cutlets, or try different cheeses or herbs, etc).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

299 Calories
18g Fat
21g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 299
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Sodium 836mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 38mg 189%
Calcium 146mg 11%
Iron 8mg 44%
Potassium 772mg 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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