Basic Marinara Sauce

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis, Everyday Italian


  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 32oz. cans whole tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • sugar, to taste, if you think it’s needed, start with a tsp. and add accordingly.


  1. In large pot, heat oil, add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add celery, carrots, salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are tender, about another 10 minutes. Add tomatoes (if you’re using whole tomatoes, crush them first), bay leaves, and dried basil.
  2. Simmer uncovered, 30 minutes. Taste and if you think it needs some sugar, add a little bit to your liking. Simmer an additional 30 minutes.
  3. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.


I like to use whole tomatoes and crush them because I like to leave them a little chunkier than the crushed tomatoes texture. Either canned crushed or whole tomatoes works well.