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Super Easy Marinara Sauce

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Marinara sauce is traditionally a tomato sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs. There are many variations that you may see that include wine or certain spices. This recipe incorporates each of these ingredients and is super easy to make.

Marinara sauce can be made in a big batch and used throughout the week with a little pre-planning. After using it for the traditional spaghetti dish, you can use it for other dishes too. For example, you can use it to top your meatloaf, use it in your lasagna, for homemade pizza, or you can use it to top off stuffed peppers.

This sauce also freezes really well. If you don’t want to eat ten meals in a row with red sauce, it’s helpful to freeze what is left over to use at a later date!

If you’re looking for a meat-based sauce, then try my Super Easy Bolognese Sauce recipe that I serve with pasta. It is also fantastic!

Successful Sauce Is In The Tomatoes

Fresh Roasted Tomatoes

Being from the midwest, in the summer, we have a wonderful tomato season which is why we are so passionate about how you prepare the tomatoes for your sauce. In a perfect world, you want to take great care in baking off your tomatoes to enhance the flavor.

With parchment paper protecting your baking pan, cut out the tomatoes’ stems and cut them in half widthwise, and place the flesh part on the pan.

Cut up the garlic, be generous here, and onion if you like, and sprinkle them over the baking sheet. Now take several sprigs of rosemary and nestle them in between the tomatoes to roast.

With your very best extra virgin olive oil, drizzle oil across the top of the sheet pan to be sure it’s well coated. Pop the baking sheet into a 450 degree F. heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Roast them if you got them, when making Super Easy Marinara Sauce for best results!

Fire Roasted Canned Tomatoes

When I was young, I actually remember canning bushels of tomatoes with my mom. We actually canned stewed tomatoes. I can still feel the burns as I tried to take the skins off the blanched tomatoes! The benefit, of course, was the end product. Those cans of stewed tomatoes were the bomb! The sauce made with it had so much flavor and depth it made the hard labor worth it after the first bite.

In the absence of that type of canned wonderfulness, your best option is to use the fire-roasted version of diced or crushed tomatoes, in my opinion. They are a little more expensive than the plain options but trust me it will make all the difference!

Super Easy Marinara Sauce Ingredients

These ingredients make the kind of authentic Italian Marinara that your Nona would make as a base for all of the other wonderful dishes she would create throughout the week.  From the obvious spaghetti sauce or even for lasagna construction, this sauce is super easy to make.

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Fresh Basil
  • White wine

Super Easy Marinara Sauce

Grab a medium saucepan, and over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil in the pan for a minute or so. Keep being mindful, that you don’t want the olive oil to get too hot. It will burn your garlic, and you cannot overcome the burnt garlic taste in your sauce.

So, once the oil is warm, add the garlic and sauté it for 3 minutes, then add the onion, constantly stirring until the combination is golden brown and fragrant.

Now add the crushed/diced fire-roasted tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, fresh basil, and crushed red pepper flakes, which is optional, but is it really? Stir well to combine.

Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes or more, stirring occasionally. Add seasoning to taste with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, or even a bit of sugar if it has an acidic taste. 

Tips And Tricks

  1. Use the oven fire-roasted diced tomatoes, canned version when real tomatoes are not an option.
  2. Watch your salt at the end. Pasta is also cooked with salt, so in an instance, your sauce can become to salt forward.
  3. Thin your Super Easy Marinara Sauce with a bit of chicken stock or water left from cooking your pasta to thin.
  4. Freeze any leftover sauce in small containers measured out to 16 oz or so. When you defrost for future use, you will have the right amount to substitute in any recipe without waste.

This is the kind of authentic Italian Marinara that your Nona would make as a base for all of the other wonderful dishes she would create throughout the week.  From the obvious spaghetti sauce or even for lasagna construction, this sauce is super easy to make.

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