The Family Marinara


This is my take on the Bonanno family red sauce (that’s my mom’s side of the family). My version uses more onion, diced tomatoes, and brown sugar. It’s a real crowd-pleaser.


1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1- 6 oz can tomato paste

½ of a medium size yellow onion

4 cloves garlic

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp red pepper flakes

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 ½  tbsp olive oil


Heat olive oil in a 4 quart, lidded pot on medium-high. Chop onion into ⅛ “ slices and saute in pot until just tender (2-4 minutes) sprinkling with salt and black pepper. Press or mince garlic cloves and add to saute, stirring frequently.

As soon as garlic starts to toast add in diced and crushed tomatoes along with all liquids from the cans. Add basil, sugar, and red pepper and stir until everything is incorporated. Reduce the heat to low and put on the lid. Let simmer 20 min to an hour, stirring on occasion.

Add in whole can of tomato paste, and stir until it’s fully incorporated. Continue to let it simmer with the lid on for a minimum of 20 min, but up to an hour, stirring on occasion. Salt to taste.

Serve over pasta and enjoy! Serves 4.