Classic Old World Italian Marinara Sauce (Made in Bulk)

You can’t buy this kind of quality from the store folks! Sure, if you’re lucky, you can find a local mom & pop Italian restaurant and get this level of excellence or greater, but why not learn to make this stuff for yourself, in BULK instead! You’ll pay pennies on the dollar vs the best expensive store brand, and you’ll have the pride that comes from making something delicious! My father-in-law is 50% Italian/50% Polish. My Mother-in-law is a mix of German and Irish. She was lucky enough to have learned this Homemade Marinara Sauce Recipe from HER Italian mother-in-law, which was in-turn passed down from her Italian immigrant great grandmother! So there is a lot of history in this recipe, and we are keeping it going when we make this and share it with the world!

This classic marinara sauce takes time, so don’t try to rush it! Be prepared for stirring every 15 minutes for many hours, which is PERFECT for a casual lazy Saturday or Sunday. It can be a pleasant experience, seeing and smelling your sauce as it matures throughout the day! But with that aside, this recipe is super easy and ANYONE CAN DO IT! Be smart and make a big batch like we do! You can freeze portions for easy quick and healthy weekday dinners! We simply store ours in Mason jars in the freezer. When thawed out, it still tastes fresh and amazing and WAY BETTER than any store bought marinara sauce!

Also be sure to check out our Homemade Italian Meatball recipe!

Prep Time 30 M
Cook Time 2 H
Recipe Yield 8 Jars of Sauce

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  1. Gather your ingredients.

  2. Preheat a large 10oz or bigger pot for about 2-3 minutes on medium high heat.

  3. Add 1/2 cup olive oil. Let the oil heat for 2-3 minutes. Then add chopped onion, red pepper, and garlic. Sauté on medium/high heat for a few minutes until the beautiful smell of onions and garlic begins to fill your kitchen. Don’t overcook this stuff, in fact feel free to undercook it a bit at this stage!

  4. In a blender or food processor, add the crushed tomatoes and purée. BTW, Blendtec blenders are the best by a long shot. We’ve had ours for years, it is a workhorse!

  5. Add the diced and puréed tomatoes together into the pot. Keep the heat up to medium/high at this point, but be sure to stir every minute or so.

  6. Add 1 cup of red wine, and stir.

  7. The important thing with this recipe is to keep tasting it as you add the following ingredients: Chop your fresh basil and oregano and stir into the sauce. Don’t overdo it with the basil/oregano. Add a little and give it some time to cook, then taste.

  8. Add mushrooms.

  9. Add basil.

  10. Continue to add seasonings now.. the Salt, Black Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes. At this stage, reduce the heat to medium so you get a nice slow simmer going. You don’t want a vigorous boil. Low and slow will get you to flavor town in style!

  11. Add 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Try mixing both types of cheeses together if you have them, you will love it. You can add more cheese later, to taste.

  12. Keep stirring the pot every 15 minutes at least. Keep the heat low enough so there’s just a slight bubbling of the sauce. Cook for at least 2 hours.

  13. Now at this point, if you are so inclined, you can make homemade meatballs and toss them into the sauce to cook! This will add an even deeper flavor profile to the sauce, along with some delicious protein. I HIGH recommend this. I will post our Italian Meatball recipe next! ????

  14. When you’re done, jar it up and store it your freezer! It should last up to one year at least before the flavor begins to diminish.

  15. Please share on Pinterest – CLASSIC ITALIAN MARINARA SAUCE RECIPE – Old Italian Family Recipe


  • From what I gather, it sounds like true Italian marinara is a very recent invention. The Tomato was not introduced to Italy until after the discovery of the “New World”, so this places the tomato’s introduction to Italian taste buds at somewhere in the mid 1500’s when Spanish Conquistadors brought them home from South America.

  • Be sure to simmer on low for at least a few hours, and stir the pot every 15 minutes so the sauce on the bottom of the pot doesn’t burn! And Taste, taste, taste! Be sure to season this and taste periodically to make sure the marinara is cooking up the way you like it!





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