Easy Marinara Sauce

Or as I’ve adoringly named it, Sugo di Mountain Mama.

Easy Marinara Recipe, www.mountainmamacooks.com

This basic red sauce recipe is slightly adapted from one of my favorite food bloggers, Flavia, and her recipe for Sugo di Pomodoro, which simply means tomato sauce. But trust me when I tell you there is nothing simple about this sauce. It’s full of flavor and has so much depth you’d think it had been simmering on the stove all day.

Basic Marinara Sauce, www.mountainmamacooks.com

Blame it on my inability to follow a recipe as written or perhaps it’s my absolute love for garlic and white wine but I tweaked Flavia’s sauce and I I feel the need to apologize. I’m not Italian (or even remotely close) but I think it’s some kind of cardinal sin or something to tweak a recipe that’s mostly likely been made the same way for generations. But it couldn’t be helped. Isn’t that what cooking is all about? Making things your own? Taking a recipe and tweaking it until it tastes right to you? With that being said, the sauce is amazing either way you make it. The real way- Flavia is the real deal after all, or the Mountain Mama way- A Utah’n who married a New York Jew that likes to mess with recipes.

marinara sauce, mountainmamacooks

So this sauce? It’s pretty darn amaze balls. It beats any bottled sauce you can buy in the store and it’s so simple to make. And dare I say more affordable? As it simmers on the stove, you’re house will smell like pure comfort. Pure, homemade comfort. Without a doubt, this is my new go to “sauce” recipe. At the base of this savory base is pureed carrots, onions and celery. The carrots impart just a hint of sweetness and makes the sauce a deep beautiful red color.

kid friendly marinara recipe, www.mountainmamacooks.com

As you can see, I had a helper in the kitchen this day. And though I might be a bit biased, a ridiculously cute helper, don’t you think? Both my boys are always willing participants in the kitchen and I love it. I (mostly) don’t mind the mess and I love sharing my love of cooking with them. Nothing beats being in the kitchen with my kids, making something from scratch and then sitting down to enjoy it together. It’s what it’s all about for me.

Sugo di Pomodoro recipe, www.mountainmamacooks.com

So whether over a big bowl of steaming spaghetti or a a bowl of sauteed veggies (yeah, watching my carbs), this sauce is unbelievable.

Have a great day!


Easy Marinara Sauce


  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into thirds
  • 2 small carrots, chopped into thirds
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • salt to taste


  1. Place carrots, celery and onion in the base of the food processor and pulse a few times until vegetables are coarsely chopped. I do mine pretty fine since the kids like it better but leave it chunkier if you prefer.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add celery-carrot-onion mixture and stir to coat with the olive oil. Turn heat down to medium-low and saute the vegetables about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Turn heat to medium-high and add the white wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tomatoes and stir to incorporate the vegetables. Fill one of the cans with about 1/2 cup of water and pour it back and forth from one empty can to the other to loosen any tomato still clinging to the inside of each can. Pour the water and tomato mixture into the sauce pot. Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat to low and cover the pot partially with the lid. Simmer the sauce for 45 minutes, stirring periodically, until it has reduced slightly and thickened in consistency. Season with salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon) and serve.