Heat a heavy bottom large pot on medium low flame. Add a lug of olive oil and the diced onion with a pinch of sea salt. Cook for about 10 minutes until traslucent taking good care not to burn it.
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 yellow onion
Stir in the minced garlic and let it infuse the oil for about 30 seconds.
8 cloves garlic
Use your hands and crush the tomatoes as you add them to the pot with the onion and garlic. Rustic chunks are what we are after.
2 X 28 oz cans San Marzano Tomatoes
Add the bay leaf and the 4 sprigs of basil then bring everything to a gentle simmer. Partially cover with a lid and cook down until reduced and thick to your liking (about an hour or so). Stir a few times making sure the sugars from the tomatoes don’t stick to the bottom.
1 leaf bay, 4 sprigs basil
After the sauce has reduced season to taste with the sea salt. Discard the bay leaf and basil sprigs.
1 pinch sea salt
Finish with a drizzle of fine cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and the reserved fresh basil. Serve with your favorite pasta to transfer to jars and refrigerate up to one week.
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
How to Thicken Marinara sauce? - Continue cooking on low flame until most of the water evaporated and the sauce /gravy has thickened to your liking. Careful not to let those sugars burn though so stir often.