I make this marinara sauce at least twice a month, and there's always some stashed in the freezer for quick and easy weeknight dinners. This simple marinara sauce is entirely plant-based, vegan, and Whole30 compliant, which means it contains no added sugar.
Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and saute until translucent - do not brown - about five minutes. Add the garlic cloves and saute, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes with their juices along with the salt, basil, and parsley. Give everything a good stir, then top with the bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring the liquid to a simmer. Adjust the heat to medium low or low to maintain a consistent simmer with slow, large bubbles. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are deep red in color.
Turn off the heat. Drizzle the sauce with the extra virgin olive oil, then puree using an immersion blender.
Salt appropriately. Tomatoes need a lot of salt, but if you're hesitant start with at least a teaspoon. Add more to taste until the flavor pops.
Use the right canned tomatoes. Fire roasted tomatoes add depth of flavor in this quickly cooked sauce, and they're naturally less acidic.
Finish with extra virgin olive oil before pureeing. It will give the sauce body and add buttery rich flavor.