Marinara Sauce

This recipe will save you money compared to buying prepared sauce for your spaghetti, lasagna, or pizza. It’s healthier than most jarred sauces. The best way to make a good sauce is to season it by taste! Use a quantity of tomato puree approximately equal to the amount of sauce you want, add seasonings gradually, and sample it frequently. You will need:

  • canned tomato puree (tomato sauce, or tomato paste plus water, is okay too, but I prefer puree because it’s easy to get out of the can and has no added salt)
  • diced fresh onion (dried minced onion will work, but the resulting flavor is different)
  • crushed garlic or garlic powder
  • oregano, fresh or dried
  • basil, fresh or dried
  • cheap red wine (or grape juice, or a little water plus just a pinch of sugar)
  • olive oil or other cooking oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients, with a lid
  • optional ingredients: bell pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, kale, etc.–diced or shredded.  You can sneak in a lot of vegetables here.

Heat the oil. Add the onion and stir until lightly browned.

Add the garlic and optional ingredients. Stir until onions are transparent.

Add tomato puree, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and wine. Mix thoroughly. Keep at medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally (watch out for bursting bubbles, which can scald you!) for at least 10 minutes. Make sure sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook at least until thoroughly heated. Flavor improves the longer it cooks, up to about 45 minutes.

If you’ve made more sauce than you need for one meal, pour the rest into glass jar(s), close lids tightly, and refrigerate immediately. It will keep for 3-6 weeks. If you make a really large batch, you can freeze some (in a plastic container), but the consistency will be a little different after thawing.

9 thoughts on “Marinara Sauce

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