Homemade Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

This delicious Marinara sauce recipe uses fresh tomatoes, basil and oregano. A good tomato press really simplifies the procedure. It is great on it’s own as a pizza sauce or a dip for breadsticks, and it is excellent with pasta, with or without meat. My wife Susan loves it over our fresh homegrown spaghetti squash.

Cook / Prep Time – About 4 hours

Yield- 1 1/2 – 2 quarts


  • 5 pounds fresh Roma or paste tomatoes
  • 1 large fresh carrot
  • 3 large cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 fresh celery ribs
  • 3 fresh shallots
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice (if canning)

Clean and peel the vegetables. Cut them in chunks and chop them fine in a food processor with the fresh basil and oregano. Add the olive oil to a heavy bottomed pot and turn on low heat. When the olive oil heats up, add the chopped vegetables and herbs. Sauté on low heat until they are translucent. Add the red wine and continue to cook on low eat, stirring occasionally.

Put the tomato press together. Clean the tomatoes. After cleaning, set 1/2 pound aside. Cut the top off of the tomatoes and cut them in half. Run them through the tomato press. You can find the tomato press on Amazon for around 40 dollars.The tomato press will remove and separate the skin and seeds like the bottom picture illustrates. I throw that stuff in our compost pile. You will be left with a beautiful seedless, skinless tomato sauce.

Add the sauce to the sautéed vegetables and herbs. Add the honey and seasonings. Turn heat up to medium low. Continue to cook and stir every 15 minutes or so until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 2 to 3 hours. I prefer to use the sauce immediately or freeze it, but if you want to can it, divide the sauce between two jars and add 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice to each jar. ***Warning: the smell is going to drive you crazy!

Enjoy! I promise you this sauce is well worth the effort!

P.S. – if you make this sauce, please shoot me a picture and let me know your results!

Suggested music to listen to while preparing the sauce…

” The Best of Dean Martin” released in October 1966 featuring “That’s Amore” and “Volare”

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Husband, Father, Grandfather, foodie. I have worked in various capacities of food service for 50 years. Baker, cook, manager, restaurant owner, personal chef and food sales / consulting. Recently retired. I love to cook and photograph food. My other hobbies include organic gardening, fishing, bicycling, reading, music and golf.

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