The best spaghetti sauce ever is a marinara sauce made from Roma tomatoes. Marinara sauce that accompanies most spaghetti dishes is modified in a plethora of ways to suit all pasta tastes: it is used to cook chicken for chicken cacciatore and seared meatballs for the classic spaghetti and meatballs entree. The best spaghetti sauce consists of only fresh ingredients and starts with the tomatoes. Twenty lb. of fresh tomatoes, when processed and reduced, yield 7 to 9 pt. of fresh-squeezed tomatoes that make up the base for the sauce.

Things You'll Need

Tomato Preparation

Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Place a large bowl filled with ice water in the sink.

Drop a few tomatoes at a time into the boiling water. Remove them after 1 minute and drop them immediately into the bowl of ice water. This makes the skins easily removable; they slide right off the tomatoes. Skin all the tomatoes.

Wash your hands. Halve and squeeze the juice out of each tomato. Remove as many seeds as possible by scooping them out with your fingers.

Drain the tomatoes in a colander in a sink. Once all the tomatoes are substantially drained, remove them to a 10-qt. sauce pot. Puree the tomatoes with a hand mixer or immersion blender. Cook the tomatoes down to a paste while stirring occasionally over medium-high heat.

Seasoning Preparation

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute it until almost brown.

Drop fresh basil into the mix and stir until well blended. Add salt, pepper, oregano and dried basil and stir until blended.

Pour a ladle-full of your fresh tomato paste into the pan containing seasonings. De-glaze the pan by mixing the tomato paste completely with the seasonings and lightly scraping the bottom of the pan with the ladle.

Marinara Combinations

Empty the contents of the saute pan into the stock pot containing the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low.

Stir the sauce until it is thoroughly mixed. Add any seared chicken or meatballs you wish to cook in the sauce. Heat it until it reaches the thickness you desire.

Turn off the heat when finished. Continue to stir the sauce occasionally while it cools; it continues to thicken as it cools.


  • If unable to obtain fresh tomatoes, substitute 1 No. 10 (6.6 lb.) can of stewed tomatoes for the 20 lb. of fresh tomatoes.

  • Simmer 1 1/2 diced onion in your olive oil before adding garlic for a sweeter bite your sauce.

  • Adding bell peppers or a splash of white or red wine to the tomatoes while cooking them down are popular ways to flavor spaghetti sauce.