Heat some olive oil in a medium sauce pan and saute some minced garlic and minced onions until they are soft and translucent.
Then add the tomatoes. You can use fresh Roma tomatoes (those seem to have the right flavor and texture for marinara) or canned tomatoes. I used some tomatoes that I canned from my garden last summer. Either open the cans or chop them up fresh.
Ideally, you would use fresh herbs, but since its hard to come by good, fresh herbs in the winter time, the dried stuff will make a fine substitute. Add a tablespoon of dried oregano.
Anyhow, I came up with a decent substitution on the fly. I added about 2 teaspoons of beef bullion powder to give the sauce some heartiness and about 1/4 cup of cooking sherry. I wanted that alcoholic bite that the wine would have lent to the sauce, but I didn't want it to taste too vinegary (as sherry can sometimes be). It worked out.
Give that a good stir and bring it to a boil. It should look a little something like this.
If you like a chunky sauce, you're done!
But I decided that I wanted a smooth sauce so I went one step further. And it was also a good excuse to use my nifty immersion blender.
Now use this sauce to make some spaghetti, or lasagna. Add it to some vegetable soup for a deeper flavor. Dip some bread in it or try it as a pizza sauce. Oooohh, or cook some meatballs in it. That would be gooood.
I used mine to make lasagna. I'll be posting that recipe soon.
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes or about 6-7 fresh Roma tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 of one onion, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano OR 3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tbsp dried basil OR 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 c strong red wine OR 2 tsp beef bullion and 1/4 c cooking sherry
Saute garlic and onions in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings if necessary and blend until smooth if desired.