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Chunky Italian Tomato Pasta Sauce

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Meal Course: 

This red sauce is a simple, classic marinara sauce for use in various pasta and pizza recipes.  If you want it meaty, see the notes at the bottom.


  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 Cup chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1 crushed clove garlic
  • 1 T. chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh basil leaves (or 3/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can (16 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce


  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the oil, onion and garlic, and saute until the onion is transparent (about 5 min)
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat to boiling
  3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally


If you prefer a meat sauce, replace the oil with 1 lb. ground meat.  In this case, the first step should be combining the meat, onion and garlic, and cooking it until the meat is browned.  For ground meat, try any of the following:

  • Ground sirloin
  • Half and half sirloin and ground pork
  • Half and half sirloin and Italian sausage

If you like your sauces with a bit of heat, like a diabolo, add a tsp of crushed pizza peppers prior to the simmer.  Or use hot Italian sausage for a meaty AND spicy sauce.


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