California Central Coast Recipes

Basic Marinara Sauce

This is a “must-have” sauce.—You can do so many things with it! –You can use it as a base for Cioppino, or add Italian sausages and serve over spaghetti.

When crab is in season, add crab and have a delicious entrée with pasta. If you just want a really good non-seafood tomato sauce, make it omitting the anchovies. You can dress up a meatloaf and pour this sauce over it for another twist. I swear by this recipe.---It’s one of my most used sauces and is always so-o-o comforting. When Larry, my husband was doing a lot of International traveling, he always requested this for his first dinner home. –And the best thing about this: It’s not high in calories!
Enjoy! ©2018, Basic Marinara Sauce
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


1 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
4 cloves garlic , chopped (or more to taste)
6 to 9 fillets *flat anchovy , chopped (People that don’t like anchovies are not bothered by this amount)
3 Tablespoons (heaping) tomato paste
2 30-ounce cans Tomato Puree
1 can water (empty puree can)
3 to 4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup Italian parsley , chopped
Several-grinds black pepper

* Omit the anchovy for a vegetarian sauce

Preparation Directions.

1 In a large nonreactive covered (preferably stainless steel) saucepan or stockpot, melt butter with olive oil over medium-low heat. Sir in garlic and cook one to two minutes until fragrant.—Do not brown or overcook.

2 Add chopped anchovies and stir until combined. Add tomato paste and stir to heat through.

3 Stir in puree, water, oregano, Italian parsley and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

4 After one hour, if adding seafood or meat in this dish, add now and continue to simmer until seafood or meat is done and serve.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

Wine suggestion: A young red wine is always good with this one.

A tip from Sue!

Eating well with no guilt!

For those health-conscious, alternate a "healthy meal" just before and after a "splurge meal." You can enjoy the food much more when you're not plagued by guilt! And this keeps you on a self-imposed "mini-diet" and maintains your weight much better than if you haphazardly eat at random.