Who doesn’t love spaghetti!? Coming from an Italian family we had spaghetti in some way, shape, or form at least once a week when I was growing up. I always laugh when I cook it because it makes me remember when my mom would pick us up from school and we knew we were having spaghetti for dinner because we could smell the garlic on her. Marinara is one of my favorite sauces to make because it’s so versatile! You can use it in so many recipes from plain pasta, to pizza, to chicken parmesan (to name a few). Not only is homemade better than store-bought (if you have the time) it is also more cost effective. I always have some in my freezer!
Marinara is really simple, but full of bright tomato flavor. Even though it may seem like a lot of garlic the sauce isn’t too heavy on garlic flavor… it actually has a soft garlic taste because I sautee it first with some wine. I like to cook the wine a bit because I think it brings out the aromas of the wine. You can use red or white depending on the taste you like. Generally I use white for a lighter flavor in the warmer months and I use red wine for a deeper flavor in the colder months. The beauty of this sauce is that you can really make it how you like it. I like mine smooth so I used an immersion blender to puree it, but if you like it chunky you can leave it as is!
1/8 cup minced garlic, about 8 cloves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (San Marzano as well)
1 cup wine; red or white both work
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste
*Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium head
*Finely mince the garlic by using a knife or a small food processor
*Lightly saute the garlic in the olive oil being careful not to let it brown
*Add in the wine and allow to cook for a minute
*Stir in all of the canned tomatoes
*Stir in the herbs; if I am using dried herbs I like to rub them in my hands as I pour them into the sauce to release the flavor a bit more
* Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn the heat to low
*Simmer on low for an hour or two; stirring regularly
*Remove from heat and puree the sauce with an immersion blender; you can leave this step out if you like a chunkier sauce
*Simmer for another half hour; make sure to adjust seasonings at this point to see if it needs more salt, pepper, or herbs
*Before serving I like to add fresh herbs into the sauce; whatever I have on-hand such as basil or parley; you can do this step by simply sprinkling it over the finished dish.. it adds a bit more freshness!
When it comes to freezing the sauce you can do it a couple different ways:
Make sure to cool your marinara sauce to room temperature, then in the refrigerator, THEN you can freeze it. Do not place warm sauce in the freezer.
1. You can ladle a serving size into a small ziplock back and seal. Then take the all of the small serving size bags and place them in a larger freezer bag and label with the date. This makes it nice to be able to just thaw out one serving at the time.
2. You can also use ziplock freezer containers. These are just as easy, but I find that they take up more room in the freezer, and are usually bigger than a serving size. If this is what you have it will work out just as well.