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Simple Marinara Sauce

Let's face it. There are days that only a good bowl of pasta can fix, am I right? What is it about starchy noodles and silky sauces that have us feeling so much comfort after one bite? Whether its spaghetti, angel hair, lasagna, farfalle, rigatoni, bucatini... The list just goes on and on! And let's not forget about all the sauces to choose from: alfredo, garlic cream, pesto and pesto cream, or good ol' fashioned marinara.

We all know you can buy some pretty good marinara sauces in a jar. It saves you some time, sure, but it never comes close to what you get on date night to an Italian place. Save the date night for another night, because you can make some pretty darn delicious marinara at home.

"But good marinara takes so much time", you say. To you I say, "Anzi". That's Italian for "au contraire" or "on the contrary" (now you can't say you don't learn anything from food bloggers. Yay for Google Translate!). Yes, some good marinara sauces come from hours of simmering and slow cooking. I'm here to tell you about a way you can SKIP the hours-long cooking session and still have well developed flavors in a homemade marinara.

By using canned tomato paste (not sauce; paste) you get all the goodness of slow simmered tomatoes without the wait. You also get to control just how thick or thin your sauce is. I prefer mine a bit thicker than most people. Let's not get started on my hatred for watery marinara (WHY AM I PAYING RESTAURANTS FOR TOMATO WATER?).

For those of you worried about the "canned" flavor of tomato paste, I have an answer. A simple step of sauteeing onions and garlic and letting the sauce simmer together for 10 minutes completely gets rid of any mystery flavors. No need to worry, friend. I gotcha covered.

Serve this sauce over any pasta you like (I chose a mixture between gluten-free and veggie based farfalle I found at Target), or as a dip for your favorite finger foods. May I suggest zuchinni sticks or garlic bread? This Simple Marinara Sauce is also a perfect pizza sauce, and freezes really well for up to 6 months. There are so many options, and so little time! Better get started!


Simple Marinara Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6 servings, 1/2 cup each


- 1/2 yellow onion

- 2 cloves garlic

- 1 Tbsp olive oil for sautee

- two 6 oz cans tomato paste

- 1 1/2 cup water

- 1 tsp oregano

- 1 tsp basil

- 1 Tbsp sugar

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1/2 tsp pepper

1. Mince garlic cloves and onion. In a sauce pot, combine olive oil, minced garlic and onion. Cook over high heat until garlic is fragrant and onions are starting to caramelize, or about 2-3 minutes.

2. While onions and garlic are cooking, mix together tomato paste and water in a bowl until fully combined. Add more water if you would like it thinner. Pour tomato mix over garlic and onions. Reduce heat to low/medium.

3. Place oregano and basil in your palm and use other palm to grind the herbs over the pot. This allows more flavor to emerge from dried herbs. Add remaining ingredients to sauce.

4. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve immediately, or let cool and store for freezing.

5. ENJOY and post with #perfectleehungry.


I'm Jess, and I pretend to be an adult sometimes. Welcome to my Hungry world!




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