Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Marinara Magnifica

It’s recipe swap time again, hosted by A Taste of Home Cooking. This week’s theme was Italian, and I really didn’t know what kind of recipe to expect. Italian cooking runs the gamut from simple with a few quality ingredients that come together quickly to complex, layered and long-cooking. I received a great recipe for marinara magnifica from Christine's Kitchen Chronicles, which in my mind combines the best of both ends of the spectrum. A few good ingredients are cooked slowly for a final sauce that is much richer than the short list would lead you to believe.

Since this recipe does have a long stove top simmering time, I adapted it just barely for the slow cooker since I wasn’t going to have a four-hour window at home. Lucky for me, slow-simmering soups, stews and sauces usually translate well to the slow cooker, and this was no exception. For the original cooking instructions, check out Christine’s original post. We enjoyed this with pasta and hot Italian sausage with roasted broccoli on the side. There was also plenty of leftover sauce to save in the freezer for future dinners- I’m thinking meatball subs with lots of gooey mozzarella!
Marinara Magnifica

What’s in it:

1 Tbsp olive oil
6 c chopped onion, about three medium
1 Tbsp sugar
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup dry red wine (I used a pinot grigio)
2 6-oz cans tomato paste
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes

Note: I used 2 28-oz cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes, and 1 15-oz can of crushed tomatoes. I think that any combination of whole, half, diced or crushed tomatoes would work here, as long as you still have the full volume.

How to make it:

Heat the olive oil in a stove top-safe slow cooker insert or saucepan. Add onions and sugar, and season lightly with a little salt. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for about a half hour, until onions start to turn golden brown. Add the garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, then stir in the wine and cook for another minute. (I prepped up to this point the night before and refrigerated the onion mixture overnight.)

In the slow cooker, combine the onion mixture and the tomato paste, then add the tomatoes. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Serve over pasta or use in your favorite lasagna, manicotti, and other Italian recipes.


  1. Glad that you enjoyed this and I'll have to try the crockpot method next time I make this sauce. You're right, it makes A LOT!

  2. This looks really good. I've been looking for a crock-pot marinara recipe. Did it make a lot? I'm looking for enough to eat and then have some left over to freeze.

  3. It did make a ton- enough for dinner for two adults and a toddler, and four freezer bags with 1.5-2 cups in each. Definitely a big pay off for not much effort!