Baking & cooking with an enthusiastic amateur

Marinara Sauce

One pot of freshly made marinara sauce, still steaming hot!

Store-bought pasta sauce is convenient, but that is its primary virtue. I have yet to find one that doesn’t have added sugar or corn syrup, and the cheapest is $2, with the fancier varieties ranging up to $7 for a single jar. While a few of the nicer ones have a delicious, rich flavor, their calorie content is unsurprisingly high.

In contrast, homemade pasta sauce hits all four key virtues – cheap, healthy, easy, and delicious! It’s best to make the night before in many cases, as it does need two hours to simmer for optimal flavor. It refrigerates well and reheats in the microwave or on the stovetop. It works on pasta or for pizza.

I rarely make marinara the same way twice, though I always use canned tomatoes, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Use whatever you have on hand, and tweak it to your liking!

The carrot and onion enhance the texture of the sauce.

Marinara Sauce
One tablespoon olive oil
One large can (28 oz) of tomato puree
One quarter of a sweet onion, diced
Two small carrots (4 oz), peeled and grated
Two cloves garlic, minced
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
Two teaspoons dried basil
One teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a saucepan, saute the onion in oil for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots, and cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in tomato puree; add Italian seasoning, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer for two hours. Serve over pasta; refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.

Makes six servings of roughly 1/2 cup sauce
Cost per serving: $0.37
Calories per serving: 93

On Tweaking:

  • If you have fresh basil, feel free to substitute that for dried basil.
  • You could add chopped bell pepper in with the onion. I’ve done it in the past with a green bell pepper, and it adds another element to the sauce, not to mention a greater variety of vegetables.
  • For a chunkier texture, used crushed tomatoes instead, or include some diced tomatoes.

Over pasta with a bit of cheese, marinara sauce makes the meal.

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This entry was posted on April 24, 2012 by in Dinners, Everything Vegetarian, Meat-Free, Vegan Fare, Vegetarian Main Courses and tagged .
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