I never really imagined myself preparing my own pasta sauce.  I thought it was only a tradition for Italian families.  So I used to always buy the generic marinara sauce at the grocery store because it was cheap and made for a quick and easy dinner.

My husband enjoys spending time in the kitchen as well and one day he came across this Classic Marinara Sauce recipe.  I was stunned by how quick and easy it was to throw all the ingredients together and simmer the sauce.  I have even made this recipe on busy weeknights because unlike a meat sauce you really don’t need to simmer it for hours.  Neither of us are big fans of meat sauces so this has become our ‘go-to’ recipe for any Italian Dish.  This recipe could either be made chunky or creamy and is full of flavor.  I use this recipe for pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash, lasagna, manicotti, chicken parmesan, turkey meatballs etc.

The original recipe is found here: at The Yummy Life.

I do not add or change a thing because it is PERFECT!  Below I just provided some pictures and notes from my experience with cooking this recipe.

Classic Marinara Sauce

The original recipe calls for either canned or fresh tomatoes.  I have never tried using fresh tomatoes because the cans are just so much easier.  Maybe this summer I will give it a try though.  You could also use actual red wine rather than cooking wine.  I just can’t keep red wine in the house for very long (tehe).  You might need to hit the spice aisle for some of the other ingredients, but they will last you a super long time and it’s always fun to add spices to your cabinet.  You could also always use fresh herbs, but I think the dry herbs provide great flavor as well.

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I prefer a creamy sauce so I blend all the ingredients besides the garlic, crushed red pepper, and olive oil in my blender on high for a few seconds. If you want a chunky sauce only pulse the ingredients for a few seconds on low.

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Once the olive oil is warm add the garlic and as soon as the garlic becomes fragrant quickly add the crushed red pepper for a few seconds.  The crushed red pepper definitely reacts with the wine and vinegar to give the sauce a ‘kick’, if you think this would be too much for your taste buds, add a little less of the red pepper, I DO NOT suggest eliminating it though.  Pour the other ingredients from the blender into the pot and bring to a boil.

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Once the sauce comes to a boil you can reduce it to simmer and be sure to stir occasionally or it will burn on the sides of the pot.  On a weeknight I probably only simmer the sauce for about a half an hour.  But if I’m making it on the weekend I’ll simmer for at least an hour.  It always smells sooooo good!

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Lately I have been obsessed with zoodles (zucchini noodles) ever since my mom bought me a Veggetti. If you’re cooking for a picky eater this is a GREAT way to sneak in some veggies.  It is so easy to run the zucchini through the spiral and create these low calorie noodles.  I can eat just a bowl of zoodles, but recently I made a trip to Trader Joes and bought some Brown Rice Quinoa Pasta, so I have been mixing the two together.  Quinoa pasta is gluten free and doesn’t really have that ‘tough’ texture that some whole wheat pastas have.

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There are many different ways you can cook zoodles.  I either steam them or since I made the pasta I just add the zoodles the last 3-4 minutes that the pasta needs to cook.  Then I pour the zoodles and pasta into a colander.  You want to shake the zoodle/pasta mixture around to get rid of excess water from the zoodles.

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Add the sauce and some parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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