Mid-Western Marinara Sauce

Erin Hungsberg's signature marinara sauce defines the character of much of her cooking. This is an all-purpose red sauce that will transform your cooking!

  • Yield: 2 quarts
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr 30 min


6 tablespoons butter, unsalted
3/4 cup onion, finely grated
1 teaspoon oregano, dry, ground
1 teaspoon Italian herbs, dry, ground
2 and 1/4 teaspoons salt, kosher
1/2 cup tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 cup water (rinse cans clean with water to extract all tomato)
3” piece (or larger) rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarse
1 tablespoon basil, fresh, chopped


Note: This recipe easily doubles or triples. 

Always keep extra quarts frozen and ready to go!

  1. Pass tomatoes through a food mill and reserve. (Choose the disk with the smallest perforations.)
  2. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add onion, oregano, herbs, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated and onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  4. Move the onions to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste. Stir and caramelize the tomato paste until it turns a rusty color, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in sugar, red pepper flakes, Ciao DOP San Marzano Tomatoes, water, and Parmigiano rind. 
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  8. Turn off the heat, remove the rind, and stir in the Olitalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil, black pepper, and basil.

*We recommend serving this with your own homemade Fresh Pasta or Extruded Pasta!

Products Used In The Recipe

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About the Chef

Meet Chef Erin Hungsberg

Chef Erin Hungsberg

My food expresses a deep pride celebrating scratch cooking in my home kitchen and a quest for the best. My photography highlights both my skill and passion for the craft of the culinary arts.

My undergraduate background lies in Fine Art and that creativity fuels my culinary ambitions. I am inspired by the world around me and love sharing my culinary viewpoint with anyone hungry to listen.