Basic Marinara

Takes about 45 min
[Edited by Jimi]


  • Small to Medium Pot with lid (2-4qt)
  • Cooking Shpoon
  • Microplane
  • Can Opener
  • Pepper Mill
  • A Sharp Knife 🙂


  • 2 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 T thin-sliced garlic
  • 1/2 cup good red wine, such as Cabernet or Claret
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes
  • 1 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (or 1-2tsp dried)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1tsp lemon zest (this should only be added to the serving you are going to immediately use)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add the wine and cook on high heat, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  6. Cover, and simmer on the lowest heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. In a separate bowl stir in the lemon zest with the amount of marinara you are going to use for the meal.
    • Add zest later a-la-minute in later servings.

“Now, take a bite of some fresh mozzarella wrapped in a basil leaf, and dunk some warm crusty bread in that shit and forget about whatever “dish” you were about to make. This is fine, just like this. That wine bottle isn’t gonna finish itself.”

Love, Jimi


  • This is a very basic “fresh” sauce.
  • Red wine adds depth to it. If you want the flavor more on the bright-side, use a dry white wine or omit the wine altogether.
  • If the tomatoes are particularly acidic, add a very small pinch of baking soda and/or sugar to even them out. Work in small adjustments when changing acidity.


  • Canned Tomato: San Marzano
  • Olive Oil: Garcia de la Cruz (Spain) or Oilala (Puglia, Italy)
  • Red Wine: Casillero del Diablo
  • Claret: Coppola
  • Peppercorn: 4-pepper medley

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