Showing posts with label Fresh Ingredients. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fresh Ingredients. Show all posts

Monday, September 10, 2012

Homemade Marinara Sauce

2020 Update:  I am using our recipes during the quarantine and updating notes. This is a family favorite and easy to make with fresh ingredients too.

My family enjoys quick and easy meals on busy nights.  Sometimes we are running from school to home, to soccer, to home and then to band or girl scouts.  

There are days that our schedules feel more like a marathon than a busy family.  I try really hard to not over-commit myself or my kids but it just happens.

On these nights I am looking for fast, healthy meals.  I could open a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce and call it good, but I would rather plan ahead and have this sauce in the refrigerator for just those moments.

I have several reasons why I don't do this.  Personally, I don't like super sweet marinara sauce and I feel like the pre sauces that you get in the store are overly sweet.  I also don't like paying the higher prices for a good marinara sauce.  Some jars are upwards of $10.00 a bottle.

I find it takes me about 10 minutes to put the ingredients together for a homemade batch of marinara vs. the few minutes to twist the lid of a jar and microwave.

When I have more time, I will let it simmer on the stove so that the flavors can develop into a thick marinara.  I will admit, with time, I sometimes warm it up knowing it will be better the next day but my family is hungry and they need to eat sooner than later.

As the Mom and cook in the family sometimes I have to overlook a few gourmet embellishments for the sake of a simple, healthy dish. 

In the summer, I enjoy julienned zucchini sticks in place of noodles.  I have always found that zucchini and tomatoes pair well together and in this case, the sauce and vegetable take center stage.  We add a bit of freshly grated parmesan too.

This sauce can easily be turned into a yummy and delicious meat variety by adding hamburger, veal or sausage or a combination of all three.  I have also used it in lasagna and with my eggplant parmesan recipe.   

Recipe:  Homemade Marinara Sauce

2 cans of diced tomatoes (I often use fresh tomatoes too)
1 can of tomato sauce (15 oz or close to it)
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1/4 cup of onion, diced small
2 tablespoons of olive oil, for sautéing + 2 tablespoons for sauce
1 tablespoon of fresh basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 -1 teaspoon of kosher salt ( start with less and add more as needed) 

BONUS FLAVORS TO ADD: I will add carrots, celery, or bell pepper to add small nuances to the flavor. We love this for pizza toast, lasagna, or zucchini roll-ups.

In a small saute pan add 2 T. of oil and saute onion and garlic together until onion is clear.

In a medium-size pot, on medium heat, add the remaining ingredients.  Add the sauteed onion and garlic.

Let simmer, with small bubbles popping on the surface of the sauce, for 15 minutes.  The sauce will get thicker the longer you simmer it.  I usually shoot for an hour if I have the time.

Taste your sauce to see if more salt is needed.  This is an important step because the right amount of salt makes this really shine.  

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