When I was a kid, coming home to a house filled with the smell of marinara sauce that had been simmering all day long over a low flame was an exciting indication that Spaghetti was on the menu. There was possibly nothing more wonderful to my 10 year old self, than knowing that I would soon have a plate of delicious pasta set before me by my mother along with crusty bread and a salad. My favorite childhood meal, to be sure. As it was for many of you without a doubt.
Today, I want to share with you a great recipe for a quick and easy, pantry shelf marinara sauce that you can make with ingredients you have on hand or, if you are planning ahead, ingredients that can easily be found in any market. This sauce comes together quickly, simmers slowly for just about an hour and it is ready to use for whatever you like.
This sauce is a great base for a lasagna or baked manicotti, stuffed shells or just serving over delicious pasta. You can use this to simmer your meatballs or sausages for a great version of Sunday gravy or you can just have it on hand for lots of delicious recipes. This is a great option for those of you who prefer not to purchase store bought sauce. You can also use this basic marinara as a base to make your own Arrabiata, Vodka, garden or mushroom sauces.
I have started with simple, pantry stable ingredients. canned crushed, pureed and diced tomatoes along with tomato paste and some flavorings. You can use what you like. I used some sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, Italian seasoning, extra basil and red pepper flakes. You could also add dried oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme whatever you like! If you like red wine, add that too! You be the master of your marinara!
I started my sauce by sweating and caramelizing a bit of onion as well as several cloves (the number is up to you) of fresh garlic. This will add richness and sweetness to the sauce and the onions and garlic are going to disintegrate into the sauce and you will only have their delicious flavor. Cooking them to the point of melting is the key.
Simmering is another secret! Low and slow, but not for too long. This sauce comes together in just about an hour and is perfectly thick and rich. It is delicious and not acidic and perfectly balanced. You are going to love this sauce for just about anything!
Because I know people will ask, this sauce is not suitable for canning. This is not a safety tested recipe. Should you wish to can your own marinara sauce, I suggest you refer to the Ball Blue Book or the website for the National Center for Home Food Preservation as a guide for safety tested recipes that are safe for home canning. I will be freezing my extra sauce for use at a later time. This will easily keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 6 months.
I hope you will give this kitchen basic, pantry shelf marinara sauce a try and I hope you love it!
Get the recipe on my website: http://bit.ly/2cLyMc7
You can see how I made this in my YouTube video here:
2 – 28 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
2 – 28 ounce cans pureed tomatoes
2 – 28 ounce cans of crushed, seasoned tomatoes
1 – 18 ounce can tomato paste
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
Step by Step Instructions
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. At least 8 quarts.
Add onion and garlic and sweat until they are slightly browned and very soft. This will take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.
Add all the remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir well and simmer uncovered for an hour, stirring occasionally.
I sometimes like to add a parmesan rind to my sauce while it simmers. This will give a deep salty edge to your sauce and also give it amazing flavor. This is optional, but if you can find some parmesan rinds, I highly recommend it.
When the sauce has finished and is thick and rich, you can remove it from the heat and enjoy over pasta or as a base for lasagna, stuffed shells or any other pasta bake.
You can also use this as a base for other sauces such as arrabiata, vegetable, vodka, mushroom or any other type of tomato based pasta sauce you love!
This recipe is not appropriate for canning.
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to one week or frozen for up to three months.