Marinara Sauce

January 13, 2012 at 1:16 am Leave a comment

If you’re like me, then you probably love Italian food. Namely pasta.

I love pasta; all the different shapes and sizes, all the things you can mix it with, and of course all the sauces.

Sadly, pasta has gotten a rather bad rep, ever since the no/low carb diet craze hit years ago. I believe, however, that like all things, it’s all about balance.

If you eat a pound of pasta all by yourself every day, then you’re probably not doing your body any favors. But if you eat a pound of pretty much anything every day, it’s not going to be very good for you. Balance and variety are so important.

If you have a modest portion of pasta, eat it with a healthy homemade sauce made with whole ingredients, balance it with other foods such as vegetables and protein, and maintain an active lifestyle (i.e. you exercise on a regular basis), then there’s really nothing wrong with pasta at all.

I always strive for balance (in all things, not just food), so as much as I love pasta, I don’t eat it every day. I don’t hesitate to eat it, or feel guilty for eating it though.

One of my favorite go to pasta sauce recipes is a simple marinara sauce. I love tomato sauces with my pasta, and marinara sauce is about as classic as it gets. It’s also very versatile as you can add so many things with it to change it up.

Capers and olives to make it more Puttanesca like.

Chicken, shrimp, tuna; just about any meat or seafood will work.

Just about any vegetables will work with it.

Add a little vodka and a little cream to make a vodka sauce.

The options are endless.

But if you want a simple marinara sauce for your pasta, or you need it for another recipe like pizza, calzones, eggplant parmesan, or lasagna (like I did the other day), then this is a great, speedy sauce for that as well.

First, add a couple lugs of extra virgin olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add one diced onion, and saute until it becomes tender, about 4 – 5 minutes.


Add 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 red chili, diced (or 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes), and 1 tsp. dried basil. Saute for another 1 – 2 minutes.


Add 2 (14 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Add 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste, and you’re done! If you want a smoother sauce, you can whiz it in a blender, but it isn’t necessary.

Marinara Sauce

(serves 2 – 3)

  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red chili, diced -or- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Add a few Tbsp. of oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, red pepper, and basil, and saute for another 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomato, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Entry filed under: Italian food, Recipes, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , , .

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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January 2012
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