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Simple Marinara Sauce



1 tablespoon pure olive oil
1 yellow onion, small dice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup good red wine, such as Chianti or a Merlot
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano are best
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon pesto
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Increase heat to high and add the wine, scraping up all the brown bits in the pan, until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil (or pesto), salt, and pepper. Cover, and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt or pepper as necessary.

Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and General Manager at Marcello’s Italian Restaurant and Bar in Port Isabel, Texas.

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