Easy Marinara Sauce
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
This is the authentic, non intimidating, marinara sauce that you have been looking for! In a desperate situation to have restaurant style ranch dressing, Matt made a perfect match of Chili's and Applebees' ranch and we have never bought ranch again. Next up was flavored ranch and then my absolute favorite garlic Alfredo sauce so why not try for a marinara too and completely boycott canned/bottled items?! Just kidding, I'm not gonna do that. Wine comes in bottles.
Realistically, most of us do not have all of the fresh things a real serious marinara sauce requires just hanging around our kitchen. To my knowledge, I am not Italian, and I'm aware of any Native American/French/Irish/Czechoslovakian recipes my family passed down relating to marinara sauce, so the internet it was. I searched around Pinterest for sauce recipes and obviously did not have a few of the "fancier" or fresh things that the recipes called for, but definitely had the dried, less expensive version of all of it laying around my cabinets and buried inside my pantry behind goldfish and veggie sticks.
Basic marinara sauce is crushed up tomatoes and seasonings, you may add a little tomato paste if you are looking for a thicker sauce. I wrote down all the things I thought sounded the best crushed up and boiled together from what I had read and drove myself and my unwilling children to the grocery store.
Wine, check. Canned whole peeled Roma tomatoes (plum), check. Crushed tomatoes, check. Yellow onion, check. Giant thing of garlic, check. Arguing 6 and 4 year old drawing all the attention to me, check. Hopefully I have everything else I need at home because we were f$&cking outta there. We got home, I fed them cookies and fruit snacks and they left me alone to my sauce science project.
First attempt, fail. Not a total, not eating this ordering pizza fail, but definitely not ready to share with the world so, moving forward. I tried again and this time I was a PRO. You start by dicing up half a yellow onion and sautéing it with a big pour of extra virgin olive oil. Then comes the minced garlic, stir around and my favorite part.
Dump a can of whole peeled plum tomatoes into the pan and smash the crap out of them with a bar muddler. Add in the crushed tomatoes, and seasonings and stir again. Next take 2-4 bay leaves and let it simmer on LOW for like 20 minutes, checking in on occasion.
Remove bay leaves before serving and you are done! I want to pretend it only sat in my fridge for a few days, but it was definitely upwards of a week and it was still awesome. Possibly better. Cheers!
1 28 oz. can of whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2-4 dried bay leaves
1 TBSP dried basil
3 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
1 TSP tomato paste, to thicken, if desired
salt & pepper to taste
1. Pour olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan, and heat on MEDIUM
2. Saute diced onions until fragrant and translucent, between 5-10 minutes
3. Add garlic, sauté 2-3 minutes, until fragrant
4. Add in whole peeled, tomatoes (do not drain them)
5. Break them apart with a muddler, or tenderizer
6. Add crushed tomatoes, stir
7. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste (a little sugar to cut the acid if you prefer), stir
8. Add 2-3 bay leaves and let simmer on low, stirring occationally
9. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator for up to a week
10. Enjoy! xo