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Sauces, Cooking Sauce, Marinara, Nonna Fina Fresh Sauce

Nonna Fina Fresh Sauce
Last Recipe and step by step video

Cooking Sauce


Cooking Sauce = Puree, thick sauce, can be eaten with plain pasta or with meat added to pasta. Never cook “cooking sauce” and add fish or veggies. It just doesn’t taste well at all.
Hint: on Puree, Before cooking your puree it should look red and taste good (but of course, it has no great flavor yet). If you open the can and your puree looks dark brownish red, then I personally don’t like the flavor. It taste to strong, like burnt. Ex. I don’t like Pope Puree.
I useTutta Rosso, Contadina or Progresso. Commerically bought product that is great is Suzy Bell. It is bright red and fresh looking.
Marinara Sauce or Whole, Chopped Tomato Marinara Sauce: Can be eaten with plain pasta or with veggies or fish added to pasta. It is a light tomato sauce.
Marinara Sauce = crushed tomato
Whole tomato sauce = whole Plum tomatoes that you will sliced up. More chunky slices of tomato. It just depends it you like chunky pieces of tomatoes in your sauce or not. Can even be mixed with marinara sauce.

Cooking Sauce (as my family calls it):
Yields 6  –  32 oz containers


  • 5  (28oz) large cans of Tomato Puree Progresso/ Contadina               or   1 Suzy Bell 6Lbs 11oz can.
  • hot water. Use the can from the sauce containers.  I fill up 1/2 can of hot water of each puree can and stir it up so the puree that was left in the can will be used. (Rule of thumb. Water measurement is 1/2 the amount of cans used.) Sauce needs to be not to thick or not to loose either. It depends on how thick the puree is.
  • 1 large Onion chopped (yeilds 2 cups chopped)
  • 8 Cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 1Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dry Basil
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Basil leaves.
  • Pinch of Oregano
  • 11/2 cup Olive Oil (12 oz) enough to cover the onions and garlic.
  • 4-6 sausage links (Optional)
  1. In a large pot over med High heat. Sautee Onions and Garlic w/ Olive Oil to lightly golden brown.
  2. While onions are sauteeing open the cans of puree and Add all the spices listed above on top of the puree.
  3. When the onions are lightly golden, Take the pot off the heated burner. I take the pot off the burner so when I am add the other ingredients the sauce doesn’t pop up and burn me.
  4. Add all the puree cans with all the spices and stir.
  5. Add the hot water and stir.
  6. Put back on the burner and Cook on mediumhigh heat and cover. ( now add Sausage links if you like.   Gives sauce more flavor. But, can be made without sausage links too.)
  7. Once it comes to a full boil.                                                                         A. Cook over  medium heat. (sauce should boil but not too rapidly)        B. Cover. leaving the lid slightly opened. (Hint: slightly opened side facing back of stove. so, you won’t get sauce popping out at you.)
  8. Stir every 3 minutes.  Cook for around 25 – 30 minutes.

Done. It’s that easy. Hard part is not to get burned with the popping sauce.

Great with my Meatball Recipe. Freeze any sauce you are not using. Great for a fast Pasta dinner.
Marinara or Whole Plum Tomato Sauce.

2 Cans of sauce Crushed Tomato or Whole Plum Tomato (sliced).
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
3 Cloves Chopped Garlic
4 leaves of fresh Basil Chopped
1 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs Sugar
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  1. In Pot fry Garlic with Olive Oil. (NO Onions.) until Golden Brown.)
  2. Stir in all ingredients. No extra water. unless 2 oz to rinse out cans.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Boils but not to rapidly.
  4. Done. .

Can add Shrimp, Calamari, mussels, Eggplant, etc.

Will Post recipes that you need Marinara Sauce for shortly. Look under Seafood Marinara, Penne alla Stefana w/ Shrimp- (Which I use the whole Plum Tomatoes for.)


Giuseppe has no choice but to help. As you can see he is so HAPPY!!

Fresh Garden Tomato Sauce. A September Ritual. Us Italians just like to do more work!
        4 Bushels = 7 hours of prep/cooking = 60 – 32oz plastic containers to freeze! Yes that’s right. I have a freezer Just for my sauce.  Now that’s Italian or I’m just crazy.  Maybe a little of both.
    1st Step: Plum Tomatoes.   Wash w/ dish soap and warm water. Place plum tomatoes on a large towel so they can dry.  
    2.   Cut them up into 4 pieces.  In large deep cooking pot put a little bit of olive oil just enough to coat the bottom and then put in the chopped up tomatoes. Only fill the pot 3/4 the way full.  
    Add 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp garlic,  4 pieces chopped basil.  Boil and stir until tomatoes become soft and you see the skin on them peeling off.  If you pinch one the sink peels off easy.                                                                  

3.  Take the tomatoes and pour them into a tomato mill machine (shown below).  As you turn the handle you will see the pulp and juices come out on one side and the skin of the tomato on the other side.

Put the skins of the tomato through the mill atleast 3 – 4 times.  You will get a lot of pulp from the skins.
4.  Next throw out the skins and place all the tomato sauce into a deep cooking pot. 
Add 1/4 cup Olive Oil
2  tsp salt, 1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper, granulated garlic powder
6 gloves of garlic. sliced in half only
8 chopped up pieces of basil.
Cook for about 30 – 45 minutes.  Stirring frequently.  the sauce will become thick by boiling out the water from the tomatoes.
5.  Place in 32 oz or 16 oz plastic containers and freeze.  Last for over a year.  to defrost. Lift cover and place on top on container place in microwave for 7 minutes and then cook in sauce pot until hot.