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Homemade Roasted Marinara Sauce

Day 1 of kindergarten: COVID+. Can’t make this stuff up, folks! Piper had a raspy voice that first evening and Mama Shea said to me, “I think we should test her for COVID.” Wouldn’t you know that second line appeared in under a minute. I promptly tested the rest of us: all negative.

So, little miss Piper was home with Mark yesterday – I’m pretty sure she didn’t get out of her jammies until lunchtime when Mark piled her in the car to take her to a park (with no others present) while he ran laps, able to keep his eye on her. She seemed to enjoy it.

I figured that yesterday was a gift, but today, being her birthday…we wouldn’t be so lucky. Welp, I was wrong. This now 6-year-old is the world’s easiest going little chick. I worked from home and had multiple calls (one with the CEO of the hospital!) and she was a perfect angel the whole time. The girl would watch ANYTHING so long as it was on a screen so the whole WFH thing is way, way possible with Piper around.

I said I’d take a half day and commit the afternoon to enjoying her birthday, even if it wasn’t as planned (cupcakes for her leader day in her new kindergarten class!). She was thrilled to hit up the Taco Bell drive-thru, grab a sprinkle cone, and head to the beach with me. We swam, against my wishes (but she batted her eyes at me and said, “But it’s my birthday, mommy!”), and built a sandcastle and looked at rocks and brought home a little collection.

On our way home from the beach, she declared today the BEST DAY EVER! Mom win! She is such a fun-loving, easy-going little chick and I’m super proud of the little woman she’s growing up to be. Celebrating her is a joy! Feeding her is slightly less joyful than in years past, but she still does better than her now-vegetarian older sister.

An always-fave in our home? Plain’ol spaghetti with marinara. I perfected an internet sensation and used 15 pounds of Mark’s home-grown tomatoes. The result was seriously amazing and it pleased my whole crew. Sure, potstickers are my birthday girl’s request, but she’d be happy with this marinara if potstickers hadn’t already been promised to her for today 😉

Homemade Roasted Marinara Sauce

Homemade Roasted Marinara Sauce

Yield: 20 servings (1/2 cup each)
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

You won't find a marinara with depth of flavor and ease of preparation. Look no further with what to do with all of summer's yield!


  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled (approx. 20 cloves)
  • 15 lbs fresh tomatoes*, quartered or halved depending on size
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 Tbsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Distribute half of each ingredient into one of two oven-safe Dutch ovens, or one LARGE aluminum roasting pan (if available).
  3. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to submerge the herbs below the tops of the tomatoes and roast, uncovered for 3-4 hours, stirring every 30-45 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and use an immersion blender to puree to desired consistency.
  5. Serve over pasta or in another favorite recipe, like lasagna!


*I used a combination of roma, early girl, and grape tomatoes (quartered the larger tomatoes and halved the romas and grape)

Recipe adapted from The Wooden Skillet

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