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Marinara Sauce

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  • 1 1/4 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, oregano or marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)


  1. Cook onion, celery and carrots in olive oil over medium heat in a large pot, covered, until the vegetables are tender — about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  2. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, sugar and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Put the sauce through the medium disc of a food mill if you prefer a smooth sauce. Omit this step if you prefer a smoother sauce.
  5. Add remaining seasonings (except salt) and simmer, stirring often, until sauce reaches desired consistency (about 20 minutes). Add salt. Remove bay leaf.
  6. Pack into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace; seal.
  7. Process in boiling water bath 45 minutes.