This classic homemade marinara sauce is easy to make and tastes a million times better than the store bought variety! With the addition of bacon and plenty of spices, this marinara packs a flavorful punch!
2large ClovesGarlic– smashed and roughly chopped (or substitute 5 cloves of regular garlic)
½ - 1tspRed Pepper flakes, according to taste
1 ½tspDried Parsley
1 ½tspDried Oregano
1(28 oz.) CanFire Roasted Diced Tomatoes(with their juices, do NOT drain)
3Vine Ripe Tomatoes– Roughly Chopped
Salt and Pepper– to taste
1BunchFresh Basil Leaves(I used about 8) – roughly chopped or chiffonade
Add diced Bacon to a COLD large Saucepan. Turn burner to medium low heat and render bacon, until cooked thoroughly, but not crispy! About 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate and place in refrigerator.
Drain (Save for a later use, stored in the refrigerator) all but 2 TBS Bacon fat from pan.
Add diced Onion to bacon fat in sauce pan; season well with Salt and Pepper. Cook until translucent and slightly caramelized, about 15-20 minutes.
Add Garlic, Bay Leaves, Celery Salt, Red Pepper Flakes, Parsley, and Oregano. Stir and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Pince by adding Tomato Paste, stirring well, until thoroughly incorporated and thick, about 2 minutes.
Increase heat to Medium. Deglaze by adding Red Wine to pan, stirring or whisking, to scrape up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until liquid is reduced by 3/4th’s (about 3 - 5 minutes, pan should be au sec & almost dry).
Add Canned Diced Tomatoes and Chopped Fresh Tomatoes. Stir. Add Sugar. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Increase heat to Medium High to bring contents to a gentle boil.
Reduce heat to a LOW simmer.
Cover and cook over low heat for 4 -5 hours, stirring occasionally… the longer the better.
Remove Bay leaves and discard.
Add Parmesan, Basil and reserved Bacon, stir to combine.
If you prefer a smooth marinara sauce: use an immersion blender (or remove sauce to a blender or food processor) to puree ingredients to desired consistency.
Taste for seasoning and adjust according to taste.