Marinara #1 - Roma tomato, roasted red pepper & basil

Pinterest visitors!  Hello, I have 3 other scratch marinara recipes, you can find them here!  Thanks for visiting!

So.  I've been whining about finding a marinara recipe with NO CANNED INGREDIENTS.  I am not a hater of canned goods, but I figure if I'm making my own sauce, it shouldn't have canned junk in it, or I may as well just buy a jar of marinara.

Anyway, I was really surprised that most of the recipes I found called for canned tomato sauce or canned tomatoes.  Boo!  So I decided to make my own.  I consulted the experts:  Ironmom, sister Beezelbum and sister Mush.  I imagined things in my mind.  I fell in love with roasted red peppers.  And then I went for it.

I bought this big ole' bag of Roma tomatoes at the Yolo Fruit Stand.
They are not perfect, but that is OK because I cooked them down.
I used 8 of them.
I only cut out the ends and chopped them.
I did not seed or peel them.
I am not Sam I am.

What is swuaas with out garlic?
6 cloves minced.

The yellow onion was also present.
1 small yellow onion, chopped.

Of course, due to my love affair with Roasted Red Peppers (don't tell The Cyclist), I had to add one of these to the mix.....

So, pre-heat your oven for roasting that pepper.
I followed these instructions (just the roasting part & I only used 1 pepper) from How Sweet It Is.

Then, heat up a big pot to a medium temp....
(I just used my pasta pot and took the strainer out)
...and add some olive oil....

...add in your garlic and onion and saute them for a bit until they start to soften...
....then throw in your chopped tomatoes...
...cook at a low-medium heat...

Now.  My basil plants still have some leaves, but they are looking a little shabby... I used this stuff instead.
It is Dorot Chopped Basil and you can buy it at Trader Joe's.
They have other seasonings too, including garlic.
They all come in the little pop out trays and are super convenient to have in your freezer.
The basil is fresh tasting and good.
Disclaimer: Dorat is not paying me or giving me products.  I just like it.
I used 4 cubes which is equal to 4 teaspoons.

I also threw in a bay leaf.

I forgot to take a picture of it, so you get the file photo above.

I also threw in salt, pepper, sugar, garlic pepper, sea salt and dry oregano.
You know what these look like, right?
I hope so.

This is me in the kitchen.  
Ignore the giant tub of Wheat Thins at my side.
I may or may not have been using them to taste test my swuaas.

If you did not believe that my kitchen is Mad Men Circa 1956, check out this side-by-side comparison:

Ooohhh, the similarities are eerie!
Betty Draper is a way better dresser, but she should lose that cancer stick!

Moving on.
You should be stirring your tomatoes...




OK, you get it.
Keep those tomatoes on medium-low heat and keep cooking them down.

Eventually, after roasting and steaming, your red peppers should be ready...


As I peeled my peppers (like Peter Piper.  wait.  he picked peppers.)...
OK, as I peeled my peppers I threw them in the tomato mix.
Once I was done I took the whole thing and threw it in the blender...
...I probably should have removed the Bay Leaf, but I forgot, so it got blended up too.
Nobody died.
After everything was blended....


I then attempted to take several artsy shots of my swuaas, none of which I'm particularly thrilled with.
The photo editing was fun though...

I think this one is my favorite....

I made this after dinner, so it sat for a night in the fridge before we had it...

All in all, it was good!
It is a tad sweet, which I like.  It had a nice flavor and none of that canned taste.
The Roasted Red Pepper added to the thickness and the flavor.
The basil was present but not overpowering.

So, as far as the title "Marinara #1", I am planning to do a series of different sauces over time.
I am especially nervous about #5 because I feel like it needs to be as famous as Chanel No. 5 or something.
This is an example of my mind at work.  My apologies.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe for Marinara #1!

Recipe as follows & at Tasty Kitchen.

Marinara #1 - Roma tomato, roasted red pepper & basil

8 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
6 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Red pepper, cored and roasted
4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Dashes of salt
2 Dashes of fresh ground pepper
1 Bay leaf
4 Teaspoons fresh basil, chopped or 4 frozen Dorat basil cubes
1 Teaspoon oregano
1/2 Teaspoon garlic pepper
2 Teaspoons sea salt
2 Tablespoons sugar

How To:
Chop tomatoes and onions.
Mice garlic.
Begin process of roasting the red pepper using How Sweet It Is instructions below.  Use 1 red pepper.

To roast peppers: remove core and seeds from peppers and slice into pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and preheat the broiler in your oven. Place under the broiler skin-side up until skins are completely charred and black – this took about 10 minutes for me but will depend on your oven. Just check every 2 minutes or so. Immediately remove peppers from oven and using kitchen tongs, quickly place them in a ziplock bag then seal it. Set aside for 20-30 minutes.

After you put your pepper in the oven...
Heat large pot on burner to medium heat.
Add olive oil.
Add onions and garlic and saute until softened.
Add tomatoes.
Reduce heat to low-medium temperature.
Add all seasoning and continue to stir frequently.
Once the red pepper is done roasting and steaming, peel the skin as directed and add it to the sauce mixture.
Dump entire sauce mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until the sauce is smooth with no tomato or pepper chunks.
Jar it or serve it!

The end!
**I've shared this recipe at the following sites - follow the links for more great and tasty recipe ideas.
The Tasty Alternative - Allergy Free Wednesdays 
Kelly the Kitchen Kop - Real Food Wednesdays 
The Nourishing Gourmet - Pennywise Platter Thursdays 
Food Renegade - Fight Back Friday
Cybele Pascal - Allergy Friendly Friday
Ann Kroeker.  Writer.  - Food on Friday
Food Trip Friday
Real Food Freaks - Freaky Friday
The Healthy Home Economist - Monday Mania
I'm an Organizing Junkie - Menu Plan Monday
11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven - Homemaker Monday
New Life on a Homestead - Homestead Barn Hop
Simply Sugar & Gluten Free - Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
All the Small Stuff - Tuesday's at the Table
Real Food Forager - Fat Tuesday
Growing Home - Teach Me Tuesday
Everyday Tastes - It's a Keeper Thursday
Frugal Follies - Frugal Food Thursday
Life as Mom - Frugal Friday
Around My Family Table - Feed Your Soul
Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms - Melt in Your Mouth Monday
Beauty & Bedlam - Tasty Tuesday
The Kings Court IV - What's Cooking Wednesday
The Gluten Free Homemaker - Gluten-Free Wednesday
This Chick Cooks - Whole Foods Wednesday
Dining With Debbie - What's on the Menu Wednesday
Lady Behind the Curtain - Cast Party Wednesday
My Sweet and Savory - My Meatless Monday's
Hey What's for Dinner Mom? - Just Another Meatless Monday
Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday

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  1. It looks really yum!!! I want to try! Saved the recipe already :))


  2. Sara~

    I'm so proud of you for making your own marinara sauce! Good for you. Isn't it so super easy!!! I started making mine a while back because (and I'm sure you will agree with me here) there is just way too much sodium in the store-bought version. I've never tried roasted peppers though. It looks delightful and I'm sure it was delicious. Well done Sara!

  3. Thanks Ladies! It was good, hope you enjoy!

  4. Hi Cyclist's Wife! I just saw your recipe on TK and it looked fabulous, so I had to stop by. =) I just made tomato sauce (using canned tomaotes) over the weekend, and now I want to try your can-less red pepper version! It sounds seriously wonderful.

  5. Thanks Jenna! I hope you try it! It was way easier than I anticipated. Enjoy!

  6. Fun! I'm impressed with the whole foods approach--I have a quick marinara, but it starts with pureed tomatoes in a can.

    I have a Vitamix now, so I wonder if I could whir the tomatoes to get a really smooth sauce and then just pour it into the other sauteed ingredients?

  7. Hi Ann, thanks for commenting. Nice, a Vitamix, I wish I had one! I'm not sure if that would work or not? Cooking the tomatoes down softens the skin and helps them break down. I would say it's worth a shot for sure though!

  8. Wow, this looks delicious, and very cool kitchen too! Mrs. Draper would definitely approve!

  9. With a bottle of it at the fridge, one only needs some pasta and presto! A wonderful tasty meal!

  10. looks yummy,visiting for FTF

  11. Thanks for the comments everyone. Food Dude, the difference between Mrs. Draper's kitchen and mine is hers was new and mine is now 50+ years old. Needs an update! :) Tito Eric - I usually freeze it then take it out in the morning to defrost for a quick dinner. Thanks for stopping by Michie. :)

  12. Hi Sarah,

    I was so excited to see your recipe last week! Thank you for sharing with us on AFW!!

    Be sure to check back this week for reader favorites and hostess picks.


  13. Hi Amber! Thanks for hosting. I'll be back! :)

  14. Hi Sarah,

    I'm featuring your marinara sauce this week!

    But I do need the correct URL in the linkback. Here it is for ya:

    Thanks lovely lady.


  15. Not only do I think this recipe is great, I also enjoyed reading your post. You are real and it is a pleasure. Thanks for sharing with My Meatless Mondays.

    I keep the Dorot spices in the freezer also for when I don't have fresh.

    1. Hi Chaya, thanks for stopping by (and hosting!). Thank you for your kind words. Have a great day.

  16. Found your link on A Whole New Mom. Looks delicious. Did you can this or freeze it in cans, or just make enough to use up in a couple of weeks?

  17. I hope this doesn't get posted twice - my computer went all funky on me..
    Anyways - have you preserved this recipe in any way (canning or freezing) or just use it all up over a couple of weeks? How many cans does one batch make?

    Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Bickmore,
      Oops, it looks like it did pop up twice. :) To answer your question - I froze it in a mason jar (leave room for expansion). I did not technically "can" it so the lid sealed. I just poured it in the jar and froze it. You probably could "can" this, but I haven't learned to can yet so I didn't attempt that. On all the occasions I used it within 2 weeks of freezing. One batch usually makes slightly more than a large mason jar (I can't remember how many ounces those are?). I think it made around 40oz total for me, but it depends on how many tomatoes you use and how meaty they are too. It will certainly make enough for one pasta meal for about 4 people. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article. I really like the fresh perceptive you did on the issue. I will be back soon to check up on new posts! Thank you!
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