What's a better way to use up this summer farmer's market favorite? 
Credit: Photo: Caitlin Bensel

If you’ve got a bumper crop of tomatoes in your backyard, or you’ve returned from the farmers' market with more tomatoes than you can possibly eat before they go to mush, a big batch of marinara is just the solution.

Fresh tomato marinara has a distinct advantage over sauce made from canned tomatoes: no chance of a tinny flavor. Instead, the natural sweetness and tang of the tomato take on complex character as it slow-simmers for several hours, resulting in a glorious homemade sauce far more sublime than just the sum of its parts.

Here’s an easy recipe to get you started. It uses a couple of key tricks that lift it well above the quality you can get from a lot of ready-made sauces. First, an umami hit from soy sauce to give it that deep bottom note of flavor lacking in some blends. Second, a swirl of butter at the end delivers luscious richness and velvety texture.