Rao's Marinara Sauce

7 cups

This great marinara sauce recipe is from "Rao's Cookbook," by Frank Pellegrino. It's delicious atop penne, angel hair, and even eggplant parmesan.


  • Four 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes with basil, preferably from San Marzano

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • 6 tablespoons minced onion

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 12 leaves fresh basil, torn (optional)

  • Pinch of dried oregano


  1. Remove tomatoes from can and place in a large bowl, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes using your hands; remove and discard the hard core from stem end, and any skin and tough membrane; set aside.

  2. Place oil in a large, nonreactive saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and reserved juices; season with salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 hour.

  3. Stir in basil, if using, oregano, and season with pepper; continue cooking 1 minute more. Remove from heat and serve.

    meatballs with spaghetti and marinara sauce
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