Homemade Marinara
When tomatoes are in season, I like to make this rich, all-purpose sauce and store it in the freezer for future use. When good, local tomatoes aren’t available, this recipe is almost as good using canned tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes, an heirloom variety that’s favored for their big, sweet flavor and meaty texture, are the best canned variety. Cans labeled “DOP” (Protected Designation of Origin) come only from the San Marzano region in Italy, and while costly, they yield incredible sauce. But the term “San Marzano” is also used to refer to tomatoes not necessarily grown in Italy. These tomatoes are usually quite tasty, and cheaper.
Servings Prep Time
6servings 15minutes
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
6servings 15minutes
Cook Time
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1large yellow onionfinely chopped
  • 1tablespoon fresh oreganoor 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 1/2teaspoon baking soda
  • 6cloves garlicfinely chopped
  • 2tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2cup dry red wineoptional
  • 4pounds plum tomatoespeeled and chopped, or 2 cans (28 ounces) whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, chopped, with their juices
  • 1/2cup chicken or vegetable brothhomemade or low-sodium store-bought
  • 2sprigs fresh basilplus 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rindoptional, 2 inch
  • Salt and pepperto taste
  1. Put the oil in the pot, select Sauté, and adjust to More/High heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, oregano, and baking soda and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring continuously, until the garlic is fragrant, 45 seconds. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute to burn off some of the alcohol. Press Cancel.
  2. Add the tomatoes and their juices, broth, basil sprigs, and cheese rind (if using). Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Lock on the lid, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to HIGH pressure for 40 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is in the “Sealing” position and that the “Keep Warm” button is off.
  3. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes and then quick-release the remaining pressure. Discard the basil stems and cheese rind. Add the chopped basil and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or let the sauce cool completely, uncovered, in the refrigerator and store for later use.
Recipe Notes

Note: Chopping canned tomatoes can be a messy pain in the neck! To chop canned tomatoes without making a huge mess, simply snip them directly in the can using clean kitchen scissors.

The sauce can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.